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However, many Polish people, all over the country, chased, informed or actively took part in the murder of over 200,000 Jews during, and after, the Holocaust.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday that he will sign a contested Holocaust bill into law, despite protests from Israel and the US.

In the first decades after the end of World War II, most survivors did not want to talk about what they had experienced in the camps and ghettoes and in hiding, and most outsiders had no interest in asking.

"I have chose to sign the law but also to send it to the Constitutional Tribunal", Duda told reporters in Warsaw. Israel says the law would ban true statements about the role that some Poles played in Nazi crimes.

The country has long objected to the use of phrases like "Polish death camps", which suggest the Polish state in some way shared responsibility for camps such as Auschwitz. Those who will be convicted will face fines or be jailed for up to three years.

"True, the extermination camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we must not allow them to avoid this responsibility".

Mr Duda also said he would send the legislation to the Constitutional Tribunal to rule on whether it conforms with guarantees for freedom of speech. This could mean that the bill could still have amendments or be reversed entirely. But the law is expected to take effect before the tribunal would be able to issue any clarifications, and the independence of the judges themselves. He recalled that the Polish government at the time had to go into exile and Polish officials were those who struggled to inform the world that the Germans were putting Jews to death on Polish soil. Agnieszka Markiewicz, director of the American Jewish Committee's central Europe office, was quoted by the Washington Post as saying. "A scholar associated with a university might be excluded, but what about a school teacher who shares some of the terrible stories that happened in Poland?"

The bill's global critics argue that it violates freedom of expression.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that he was concerned about the decision of the Senate of Poland.

"We hope that within allotted time until the court's deliberations are concluded, we will manage to agree on changes and corrections", the spokesperson said.

Israel's education minister said on Monday he was "honoured" Poland had canceled his visit to Warsaw this week because he refused to back off of condemnation of a bill that would outlaw suggesting Poland was complicit in the Holocaust. As Reuters notes, this could likely increase tensions with Ukrain.

The law would make it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust.

"Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry", Tillerson said.


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