Poland is unique among other countries that are a part of the European Union. Historically, it has faced a lot of hardships and discrimination, specifically in World War II.
For example, Poland’s losses in population during World War II were exceedingly greater than any other nation participating in the war. Of its total population before the war (35 million), 6.5 million casualties occurred, and out of those casualties, about 664,000 were battlefield deaths. Germans and Soviet Russians were responsible for killing Poles and together, Nazi Germany and the USSR worked to make the country nil and essentially wipe out Polish history, culture, and national identity.
The Holocaust Law, also known more properly as the Anti-Defamation Act, called for imprisonment of up to three years for violations of the legislation, which forbids public mention of Polish responsibility of atrocities in World War II. The law is designed to address public speech that falsely accuses Poland of Nazi crimes during the German invasion. Poland has been repeatedly slandered and even so much as considered in arms with Hitler and his Nazi agenda, which couldn’t be more wrong.
The primary problem that the law addresses is calling concentration camps run by Nazi Germany in an occupied Poland “Polish.” While historically inaccurate, as the Polish state did not control the death camps, this misconception is held by many. Another misconception was that Poland was Anti-Semitic.
The twist is, several poles in history participated in some of the most heinous mass killings of World War II, even so much as collaborating with Nazis in order to do so. Some assisted in the running of death camps and carried out acts of Antisemitism. It’s this very taint on Polish history that makes Poland want to essentially “rewrite” its history.
A populist party came to power in Poland in 2015, and it’s attributes are Nationalist, Anti-Communist, and in disagreement with European Liberalism. There main qualm was that they felt that the elite ruling Poland were more invested in the opinion of the international rating industries, foreign press, and European bureaucrats than its own common people. This populist party combines Polish nationalism, religious conservatism, anti-elitism, and a sort of hatred for those who migrate to Poland and threaten polish values and culture. The party has grown substantially since it first came to being, reportedly because those in the poorer countryside have gained interest in it.
My feelings on Poland wanting to rewrite history is that as a nation they still feel marred by their falsely attributed reputation of being accomplices to Hitler’s regime. They are tired of not being considered as their own nation and entity, and would like to be thought of as a country with its own successes apart from Germany.