Poland approves bill outlawing phrase ‘Polish death camps’

This is fascinating to me: the adjective “Polish” when attached to “death camps” appears to be something Poles object to. It raises interesting questions about the processes through which national identities are played out, named, claimed, especially in the context of these appalling atrocities.

[From The Guardian]

The Polish government has approved a new bill that foresees prison terms of up to three years for anyone who uses phrases like “Polish death camps” to refer to Auschwitz and other camps that Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland during the second world war.

The justice department said the prime minister Beata Szydło’s cabinet approved the legislation on Tuesday. It is expected to pass easily in the parliament, where the nationalistic ruling party Law and Justice enjoys a majority.

The bill aims to deal with a problem the Polish government has faced for years: foreign media outlets referring to the Nazi camps as Polish.

Poles fear that as the war grows more distant younger generations will incorrectly assume that Poles had a role in the death camps.

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