WARSAW, Poland — A Polish nationalist group asked prosecutors Tuesday to investigate whether Israel’s president broke a law that criminalizes falsely blaming Poland for the Holocaust crimes of Nazi Germany.
The National Movement said it thinks Israeli President Reuven Rivlin might have violated the new Holocaust speech law during a visit to Auschwitz last week.
At issue in the group’s complaint are comments in which Rivlin reportedly told Polish President Andrzej Duda that Poland allowed the implementation of Germany’s genocide, National Movement Vice President Krzysztof Bosak said.
The alleged comments during commemorations at Auschwitz last Thursday were carried in Israeli media and were not part of Rivlin’s public remarks.
Bosak said it would be unacceptable if Rivlin asserted that Poland bears any responsibility for the Holocaust. While the National Movement understands that diplomatic immunity protects the Israeli president from prosecution, it wants the nature of the president’s remarks to be clarified, he said.
“We are interested in the truth of what he said,” Bosak said. “It is important for us.”
He also said his group was seeking to test the law, which is not being enforced in practice after sparking a dispute with Israel.
The law, which formally took effect in March, criminalizes blaming Poland for crimes committed by Nazi German forces during their wartime occupation. The Polish government says its aim is to prevent Poland from unfairly being blamed for crimes that Germany committed on occupied Polish soil.
Israel, however, fears the true intent is to whitewash Polish crimes by repressing discussion about those Poles who helped the Germans kill Jews during the wartime occupation.