Poland's senate has approved a controversial bill that makes it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust.
The bill, which passed with 57 votes to 23 (with two abstentions) early Thursday morning, also bans the use of terms such as "Polish death camps" in relation to camps such as Auschwitz, which were located in Nazi-occupied Poland.
To become law, the bill must now be signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda, who has previously expressed his support.
Violations will be punished by a fine or a jail sentence of up to three years.
While there is a consensus among historians that certain Polish individuals and groups did collaborate with the Nazi occupiers, recent Polish governments have sought to challenge that narrative.
This legislation, which will outlaw any remark that attributes responsibility to Poland for the Nazi crimes, marks the most significant victory for those seeking to defend "the good name of Poland," a stated aim of the bill.
The news from Poland's upper house came just days after a public spat between Poland and Israel over the proposed legislation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the bill "baseless," saying: "One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied."
Israel's Holocaust museum and the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem, said in a statement the new legislation risked blurring "the historical truths regarding the assistance the Germans received from the Polish population during the Holocaust."
The statement went on: "There is no doubt that the term "Polish death camps" is a historical misrepresentation!... However, restrictions on statements by scholars and others regarding the Polish people's direct or indirect complicity with the crimes committed on their land during the Holocaust are a serious distortion."
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