The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights NGO, stated on Wednesday that it is considering issuing a travel warning for Poland, aside from ancestral and historical sites, in light of the controversial Holocaust Law.


Auschwitz Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS

On Wednesday, the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) released a statement in which it explained that it is considering recommending that Jewish people reconsider traveling to Poland, aside from ancestral sites, in light of the recent and controversial Holocaust Law, which criminalizes the term “Polish death camps” and suggestions of Polish involvement in Nazi war crimes.

Rabbis Marvin Hier, the Dean and Founder of the SWC, and Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action at the SWC, stated: “We would take such action with great reluctance. We are not enemies of Poland. Our Center has brought hundreds of Jewish and non-Jewish leaders on dozens of missions over the past four decades.”

The SWC reflected on its lasting relationship with the Polish government and the groups they have sent to visit Polish historical sites, “Indeed, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has a long history of solidarity with the forces of democracy in Poland dating back to 1983 when our delegation traveled to Poland to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It came at a time when Poland was under martial law by the communist regime.”

However, Hier and Cooper added, “But in 2018, we fear for a Poland that has now seen the history of the Holocaust recast by political forces who seek to bury the ugly past that includes the murder of Jews by Poles during the Holocaust and in the immediate aftermath of WWII.”

Last week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki defended the law at the Munich Security Conference, stating that the German Nazis worked with Polish, Jewish, Russian and other perpetrators.