Polish envoy for Jewish relations Jaroslaw Nowak

Polish official fired after calling Holocaust law 'stupid'

Jaroslaw Nowak's termination comes after he slammed the Polish government's law limiting public speech on Poland's connection to the Holocaust in interview with UK-based Jewish News weekly

Associated Press |
Published: 01.10.22, 16:45
A Polish diplomat charged with improving contacts with Jews worldwide has been fired after he criticized his own government's approach to regulating Holocaust speech, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
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  • In an interview with the UK-based Jewish News weekly, Jaroslaw Nowak, the plenipotentiary for contacts with the Jewish diaspora, described the law banning statements about Poland's connection to the Holocaust as "one of the stupidest amendments that was ever done by any law."
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Jaroslaw Nowak, the Polish government's envoy for Jewish relations
    Jaroslaw Nowak, the Polish government's envoy for Jewish relations
    Polish envoy for Jewish relations Jaroslaw Nowak
    (Photo: Screen capture)
    Nowak also said Poland should pass a law on property restitution, a statement implying further criticism of the ruling authorities, who recently passed a law cutting off the chances for restitution or compensation for those who had properties seized by the country's past communist regime. Among those affected are Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
    Nowak - who has been involved in Polish-Jewish dialogue since the 1980s - was fired by Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rauon last Saturday, the ministry spokesman, Lukasz Jasina, announced Monday on Twitter without giving a reason for the termination.
    The Holocaust speech law was passed in 2018 by Poland's current ruling party, who sought to fight back against claims that Poland, a victim of Nazi Germany, bore responsibility for the Holocaust.
    The law outraged Israel, where many felt it was an attempt to whitewash the fact that some Poles did kill Jews during the German occupation during World War II.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    survivors of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz arrive for a commemoration ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the International Monument to the Victims of Fascism inside Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland
    survivors of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz arrive for a commemoration ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the International Monument to the Victims of Fascism inside Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland
    Survivors of Nazi death camp Auschwitz arrive for a commemoration ceremony on International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the International Monument to the Victims of Fascism inside Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland
    (Photo: AP)
    The legislation originally called for prison terms of up to three years for falsely attributing German crimes to Poland. It was later amended to remove the criminal provisions.
    Last year, Poland also approved a law that sharply restricts the rights to reclaim property seized by the country's former communist regime. Among those affected are Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
    That law provoked a serious diplomatic dispute with Israel which still remains unresolved.
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