(JTA) — Polish President Andrzej Duda said he would sign a controversial law limiting rhetoric on atrocities committed in his country during World War II, but added he would refer it for review by a constitutional court.
Duda made the announcement Tuesday during a news conference in Warsaw about the bill passed by the lower and upper houses of the Polish parliament. It criminalizes blaming the Polish state or nation of crimes and atrocities the bill says were perpetrated exclusively by Nazis during their occupation of Poland.
“I have decided that I will sign the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance and I will refer it to the Constitutional Tribunal,” Duda said.
The bill generated an outpouring of condemnations from international Jewish groups and from the highest levels of the Israel government, who suggested it whitewashes the actions of some Poles who are responsible for killing Jews during the Holocaust.
The bill was submitted following many years in which Polish officials protested the use of the term “Polish death camps” to describe facilities set up on Polish soil by the German Nazis. To become law, Duda must sign the bill.
Violation of the law by Poles and non-Polish citizens would lead to a fine or imprisonment for up to three years.