In a statement on Thursday, Poland said that it hopes that its relations with the United States will remain unchanged despite the countries’ differences of opinion on the controversial legislation dubbed the Holocaust bill, which was advanced by lawmakers last night.
Guard tower at Auschwitz Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
After the Polish Senate passed the controversial bill that seeks to criminalize accusations of Polish complicity in the Holocaust, the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw released a statement in which it defended the bill. Also in the statement, released Thursday, the ministry said that it hopes that Poland’s relations with the United States, which has expressed concerns about the draft legislation, will not suffer because of the bill’s advancement.
“Despite differences of opinion on the draft legislation, we believe that the current legislative work under way in Poland to develop legal solutions that would protect historical truth will not affect Poland’s strategic partnership with the Unite[d] States,” the ministry said.
In a statement yesterday, the US State Department voiced its concerns regarding the bill. Aside from mentioning that the bill could possibly infringe on free speech and academic discourse, the department stated that the draft legislation could seriously affect Poland’s strategic interests and relationships. “We encourage Poland to reevaluate the legislation in light of its potential impact on the principle of free speech and on our ability to be effective partners,” the department concluded.
We are concerned draft legislation in Poland regarding crimes committed during the Holocaust could undermine free speech. We all must be careful not to inhibit discussion on the Holocaust. We encourage Poland to reevaluate the legislation in light of its potential impact. pic.twitter.com/4pnSrIZHKI
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) February 1, 2018
As reported earlier by JOL, Israeli lawmakers have spoken out against the bill and its passing in the Polish Senate. MK Yair Lapid tweeted, “No Polish law can make history change. We’ll never forget.” MK Tzipi Livni also criticized the decision of the Polish Senate, saying that it is a betrayal of the truth and a disgrace to the Jewish state and the Israeli prime minister.