Statement on Polish Holocaust Legislation
Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the below statement on new legislation in Poland that makes it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. After signing the law, Polish President Andrzej Duda indicated he will ask the Constitutional Tribunal to review the legislation.
“With the rapid passing of the last remaining survivors, the living memory of the Holocaust dims each year. It is imperative that the world hold on to the truths of this darkest chapter and hold fast to the commitment to ‘never forget.’
“It is unquestionably a difficult, and often painful pursuit. Nevertheless, we must be guided by an unwavering dedication to the full truth. Historians are clear that many brave Poles stood up to the Nazi regime, including more than 6,000 who are honored at Yad Vashem in Israel for their selfless actions to save Jews during the Holocaust. But a full accounting of history also requires acknowledging that other Polish citizens did, in fact, help their occupiers in ways that, directly or indirectly, perpetuated the Holocaust and the murder of innocent Jews.
“The new legislation in Poland is deeply alarming, places a chilling effect over our study, and diminishes our full understanding of the Holocaust. I urge President Duda and the Constitutional Tribunal to reconsider this legislation and instead allow scholarship, open debate, and education on the Holocaust to continue uninhibited to ensure this tragic history is never again repeated.”