In this Jan 17, 2018 file photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a joint press conference with the Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Feb 10, 2018 that, “as Germans we are responsible for the things that happened during the Holocaust.” (MICHAEL SOHN / AP)
BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she won't interfere with a law that criminalizes certain statements about Poland's World War II history because, "as Germans, we are responsible for the things that happened during the Holocaust."
Merkel said in her weekly podcast on Saturday that the onus on Germany from the Holocaust is something every government will acknowledge and have to address.
The Polish law allows prison terms of up to three years for statements attributing Nazi crimes in German-occupied Poland to the Polish nation.
It has caused a diplomatic dispute with Israel, which fears it will enable Poland to whitewash the role of Poles who killed or denounced Jews during the occupation.
Merkel is scheduled to meet Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Berlin on Friday.