Germany’s push for new hate-crime laws across Europe is creating fissures in the growing European Union.
Some former Soviet bloc nations want to include a provision that makes denial of Nazi and Communist war crimes equivalent.
But the measure, advanced by Estonia, Poland and Slovenia, has been criticized by a Slovakian minister who says it’s impossible to equate fascism and communism.
The E.U. Observer reports that Poles are also lobbying to ban the phrase “Polish death camps,” because, say advocates, such camps were built and operated by occupying Nazi forces.
Meanwhile, a prominent Polish politician has drawn charges of anti-semitism after claiming in a booklet that there are “biological differences” between Jews and gentiles, TheParliament.com reports.
The booklet was written by Polish E.U. minister Maciej Giertych, father of Poland’s deputy prime minister. Critics say E.U. funds were used to publish the book, and want the money returned.
“E.U. anti-hate law sparks debate on Nazi and Soviet crimes”
EUObserver (Belgium), February 16, 2007
“E.U. parliament in row over antisemitic book”
TheParliament.com (Belgium), February 16, 2007