Education Minister orders Israeli schools to cover the role of European nations in Holocaust. ‘Many nations helped the Nazis murder Jews.’
Education Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to Arutz Sheva about his order to have Israeli students learn about the role played by European nations in the Holocaust, following Poland’s adoption of legislation that seeks to impose fines and jail time on anyone who refers to the Nazi death camps as being “Polish,” ignoring the complicity of the Poles in the Holocaust.
The Nazi death camps were German and built on Polish soil after the country was overrun by the Nazis. However, many Poles cooperated with the Nazis, gave away the hiding places and looted the homes of their persecuted Jewish neighbors. There were horrendous massacres perpetrated by Poles during and even after the Holocaust.
Poland’s parliament on Friday adopted the legislation which sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term for anyone who refers to Nazi German death camps as being Polish.
The measure is intended to apply to both Polish citizens and foreigners. It is expected to easily pass in the Senate before being signed by the president.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the bill, saying, “The law is baseless; I strongly oppose it. One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied.”
“I have instructed the Israeli Ambassador to Poland to meet with the Polish Prime Minister this evening and express to him my strong position against the law,” he added.
Bennett told Arutz Sheva that, while “the correct terminology is ‘German extermination camps on Polish soil’ as opposed to ‘Polish extermination camps,’” the role of Poland and other European nations in the Holocaust should not be whitewashed.
“Last night I instructed that the Israeli education system invest two hours to learning about the involvement of various European nations in the Holocaust. The truth is that many nations, including the Poles, were engaged in helping the Nazis murder Jews and in murdering Jews themselves. My own family was annihilated in the Holocaust.
“The second reality, though, is that the concentration camps and the extermination camps were initiated, designed and run by the Germans on Polish soil, and the right terminology is ‘German extermination camps on Polish soil’ as opposed to ‘Polish extermination camps.’
“All of this will be studied by Israeli students this week.”
By: Hezki Baruch