Washington has informed Warsaw that Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki are not welcome at the White House due to Poland’s recently enacted Holocaust Law, according to a Polish news site. Warsaw has denied the report.
Auschwitz Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS
A Polish news site has reported that the country’s leaders are being shunned by US President Donald Trump and his administration due to the Holocaust Law, which was recently enacted.
The Polish Onet website claimed Monday that it has obtained documents that show that Poland’s top officials are currently not welcomed at the White House. The website added that the documents suggest that Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will not be able to meet with Trump or US Vice President Mike Pence until the controversial law is rescinded. The government in Warsaw has denied the report.
The law, which outlaws suggestions of Polish complicity in the Holocaust, was criticized by Washington before it was enacted. Shortly after Duda approved the law, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that Washington frowns upon his decision. “The United States is disappointed that the President of Poland has signed legislation that would impose criminal penalties for attributing Nazi crimes to the Polish state,” Tillerson said. “We understand this law will be referred to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry.”
Tillerson claimed in the statement that while the term “Polish death camps” is “painful and misleading,” historical inaccuracies should be countered while protecting freedom of speech. “We believe that open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering misleading speech,” he added.
Last week, JOL reported that a US State Department report from 1946, which was declassified in the 1980s, states that Poland was highly anti-Semitic before the Nazi occupation during the Second World War. The report was obtained by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and released on the same day that the Holocaust Law went into effect.