State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today announced he has joined an effort from the officers and board of the National Association of Jewish Legislators (NAJL) urging the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, to reconsider legislation that has advanced in the Polish Parliament. The legislation inhibits honest discussion of the role played in the Holocaust by the Nazi puppet regime that governed Poland during the Second World War.

If President Duda signs the bill, authored by the rightist Polish Law and Justice Party, it will be illegal to link the atrocities of Nazi Germany to the Polish State. The crime calls for up to three years in prison.

“The chilling effect of such legislation does nothing to honor the sacrifices of the Jews and Poles murdered by the fascists at a time when Poland was under Nazi control,” said Leland. “It denigrates the heroism and nobility of the Poles who risked their lives and the lives of their families to save Jews.”

Both houses of the Polish Parliament voted in favor of this measure. The legislation has been sent to President Duda for his signature.

The NAJL and Leland penned a letter to Duda saying, in part, “In the words of Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt of the Conference of European Rabbis: A new law cannot change or expunge history, such an attempt is an affront to the memory of the millions of victims, Poles, Jews and Polish Jews.”

Leland is an officer/board member of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, a bipartisan organization for the nation's Jewish state legislators.  

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