UN General Assembly passes Holocaust denial resolution with ‘Polish’ amendments

The United Nation’s General Assembly has passed a resolution on Holocaust denial in a wording including amendments that were suggested by Poland, namely, on the recognition of the role of anti-Nazi resistance movements and the role of people saving Jews.

The resolution was passed on the 80th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, when a clique of Third Reich leaders worked out a plan of “final solution to the Jewish Question” (Judenfrage).

Passed by consensus, with only Iran, Israel’s most ardent adversary, objecting, the UN General Assembly’s resolution is the first official document adopted by all of the organisation’s member states wherein which comprised is a definition of the Holocaust based on the one adopted in 2013 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) of which Poland is a member.

As stressed by Poland’s Permanent Mission to the UN, the text of the resolution contained amendments that Poland proposed. These include, in line with the IHRA definition, the rendition of diluting the responsibility for the establishment of German concentration and death camps by shifting the blame onto other nations tantamount to Holocaust denial and corruption of truth about the Holocaust. Such a provision demonstrates particular importance with regards to false and repetitive statements about “Polish death camps”.

Poland also proposed amendments that honoured the courage and dedication of anti-Nazi resistance movements’ members. Moreover, suggested by the country, a provision commending people saving and aiding in the saving of Jews was added.

The resolution also recognised that representatives of other nations were amongst the victims of German camps. In addition, the resolution praised member states actively engaged in looking after memorials dedicated to the Holocaust its victims.

Poles on guard of the memory of the Holocaust

During the Thursday General Assembly session, Polish Ambassador to the UN Krzysztof Szczerski had the floor and thanked delegations from Israel and Germany for taking the initiative to compose the resolution.

“Besides the Jewish nation, we the Poles took upon ourselves a special duty to help preserve the memory of #Holocaust. This is because a huge part of this tragedy unfolded on the Polish territory occupied by Nazi Germany. This is because over 80 years ago we were the first victim of the attack of Nazi Germany and we proved steadfast creating the largest resistance movement in the whole of war-torn Europe,” he said, adding that a great many Poles had risked their lives to help and save Jews, to alert the world to the truth about the Holocaust. He went on to say that Poles continued upholding the memory of the Holocaust after WWII ended.

“This also bears great importance for me individually, as I am fortunate to have the privilege of having Righteous Among the Nations in my family,” the official confessed.

Submitting the resolution, Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gilad Erdan stressed that the nature of Holocaust negationism had been evolving for years from a straight-out denial of the crime to the diluting of truth about it and its scale. He said that social media were complicit in the dissemination of the lies because they did not respond to the perpetuation of such narratives. He also stressed that some of the UN member states had their part in promoting Holocaust negationism, alluding to, among others, Iran.

“Denying Holocaust spreads like cancer. It spreads on our watch. The time has come to fix historic errors,” the Israeli official said.

In response, Iran’s representative accused Israel of using the remembrance of the Holocaust to “cover up its own crimes and genocide of its own design”.