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Criminalizing the Truth

Poland’s ruling far-right Law and Justice (PiS) party has adopted a controversial new law proscribing references to Polish complicity in the Holocaust. But the law concerns the present – namely, PiS’s need for a legitimating myth – much more than the past.

Sierakowski: Poland has just adopted legislation that PiS claims will end the use of the phrase “Polish death camps” by foreign media and politicians. What did you think when you heard that phrase uttered by former President Barack Obama or former FBI Director James Comey?

Gross: It’s fairly obvious that they were referring to the geographical location of the camps. They of course knew that the Nazis were responsible for running the machinery of death.