Polish WWII survivors sue publisher of books by late Nazi
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Three survivors of World War II atrocities have sued a Polish publisher of books that contain Nazi propaganda and Holocaust denial, a lawyer in Poland said Tuesday.
Wojciech Kozlowski, a partner in the Warsaw office of international legal firm Dentons, said the lawsuit filed last week is the first of its kind in Poland. It names the Katmar publishing house, which in 2016 published two books by the late Belgian Nazi collaborator and SS officer Leon Degrelle, and editor Andrzej Ryba as respondents.
Kozlowski said the plaintiffs are in their 80s and want to remain anonymous. Two of them were saved from the Warsaw Ghetto as children, but lost their families in the Holocaust. One was a Polish resistance fighter.
They are seeking a court order to stop distribution of the books, “The Age of Hitler 1” and “The Age of Hitler 2. Hitler the Democrat,” and 40,000 zlotys ($12,000) in damages for the alleged violation of their personal rights and lack of respect for their wartime suffering, Kozlowski said.
The books glorify Nazism and Adolf Hitler while denying the genocide of the Holocaust, he said. Even though Holocaust denial is a crime in Poland, prosecutors have failed to effectively investigate publications like the ones Katmar produces, he said.
“Only pressure from the public opinion can change that approach,” Kozlowski said.
Poland lost some 6 million citizens, half of them Jewish, during the Nazi German occupation of the country during World War II.