Legislation in Poland Regarding Crimes Committed During the Holocaust

Press Statement

Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson

Washington, DC
January 31, 2018

The history of the Holocaust is painful and complex. We understand that phrases such as “Polish death camps” are inaccurate, misleading, and hurtful.

We are concerned, however, that if enacted this draft legislation could undermine free speech and academic discourse. We all must be careful not to inhibit discussion and commentary on the Holocaust. We believe open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering inaccurate and hurtful speech.

We are also concerned about the repercussions this draft legislation, if enacted, could have on Poland’s strategic interests and relationships – including with the United States and Israel. The resulting divisions that may arise among our allies benefit only our rivals.

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.

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