Polish court rules against WWII drama on German TV

Court in Poland rules that World War II drama commissioned by German public TV channel misrepresented compensation.

Nissan Tzur,

Auschwitz
Auschwitz
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A court in Poland on Friday ruled that a World War II drama commissioned by German public TV channel ZDF had made "a one-sided and untrue representation of historical facts", Deutsche Welle reports.

The court ordered the broadcaster and UFA Fiction, the independent producer of "Our Mothers, Our Fathers" to pay €5,000 ($5,700) damages and air an apology to former anti-Nazi freedom fighters, according to the report.

Zbigniew Radlowski, a veteran of Poland's Home Army launched a lawsuit two years ago after watching the mini-series, which tells the stories of five young Germans during the last four years of the war.

Radlowski argued that the TV drama had misrepresented anti-Nazi freedom fighters directed by Poland's government in exile in London as anti-Semites.

In one scene, an army officer orders a procession of concentration camp prisoners to be left to their fate "because they are Jews and they are worse than the Communists."

"As the film represents the AK soldiers in an incorrect way that is not in accordance with the truth, it directly impacts his (Radlowski's)... honor and dignity," Judge Kamil Grzesik said, according to footage aired on Polish state television.

The court ruled that German and Polish state television air an apology and that ZDF and UFA Fiction pay damages to Radlowski, a 94-year-old former concentration camp inmate and freedom fighter who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

ZDF said it would appeal the ruling and "regrets that the Krakow court did not devote enough attention to artistic freedom."

The ruling, noted Deutsche Welle, is the second by a Polish court against ZDF. In 2016, a judge ordered the broadcaster to publish an apology after mistakenly calling two World War II Nazi camps "Polish death camps."

ZDF changed the wording to "German death camps on Polish territory" after the Polish embassy in Berlin complained.

In January, the Polish government passed a law that made the use of the term "Polish death camp" punishable by up to three years in prison.

The legislation prompted sharp protests from Israel, as well as criticism by the United States, among other countries.

Jewish organizations, including the World Jewish Congress, complained the law was a violation of free speech and impediment to historical research of the Holocaust.

Poland subsequently changed the legislation to remove fines and jail terms following the international criticism.




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