Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that Poland would never limit the freedom to debate the Holocaust and that Warsaw understood Israel’s emotions about the issue.
"We will never curb the freedom of the Holocaust debate. We owe that to all those who experienced it," Morawiecki said on the Polish state television TVP.
"We understand the emotions of Israel. We need a lot of work to make our common, often complicated, history possible to tell together."
Morawiecki's remarks came in the wake of Polish lawmakers' overwhelming approval of draft legislation penalizing suggestions of any complicity by Poland in the Nazi Holocaust on its soil during World War Two, defying criticism by Israel and the United States.
Poland's foreign ministry said that Warsaw hoped relations with the United States would remain unchanged despite the newly adopted legislation.
"We believe that the legislative work ... despite differences in the assessment of the introduced changes, will not affect the strategic partnership between Poland and the United States," the ministry said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a string of Israeli politicians and survivors and experts of the Nazi Holocaust blasted Poland for approving the draft without any amendments saying it constituted "a denial of Poland's part in the Holocaust," as put by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud).
The Israeli Foreign Ministry also issued a belated statement responding to the Polish decision.