An organization that takes young Jews to visit death camps in Poland said that it would continue its trips despite a new Polish law that makes it a crime to say that Poland was complicit in the Holocaust.
March of the Living, a Zionist group that runs trips that visit Poland and then Israel, has had more than 250,000 participants over its 30-year history.
“We believe it is our sacred responsibility to carry the torch of Holocaust memory and we remain committed to teaching the importance of understanding the past as a means of protecting the future,” said Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, president of International March of the Living, in a statement.
The controversial new law, signed by Poland’s president earlier this week, imposes prison sentences of up to three years on people convicted of using the phrase “Polish death camps,” or who blame Poland for Nazi crimes. Israel and the United States have condemned the law.
International March of the Living had previously issued a statement opposing the law. “We are hopeful that the governments of Israel and Poland will find a way to solve the current impasse, so that we can continue with our vital educational activities, teaching the history and lessons of the Shoah,” the organization said.
‘Polish Death Camp’ Law Won’t Stop March Of The Living
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.