"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. We understand this law will be referred to Poland"s Constitutional Tribunal. Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry.
"The United States reaffirms that terms like "Polish death camps" are painful and misleading. Such historical inaccuracies affect Poland, our strong ally, and must be combatted in ways that protect fundamental freedoms. We believe that open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering misleading speech," the statement reads.
On Jan. 26, the Polish Sejm adopted the bill submitted by the Kukiz'15 party setting a ban on promoting the so-called "Bandera ideology," with its historic roots stemming from Ukraine. In this regard, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed concern, saying that Poland was trying to portray Ukrainians as "criminal nationalists." The Israeli Foreign Ministry, in turn, called Deputy Ambassador of Poland in Tel Aviv for explanations in connection with the amendments in the draft law on the Institute of National Remembrance. In particular, it bans any claims that the Polish people or Polish state were responsible or complicit in the Nazis' crimes, crimes against humanity or war crimes thus criminalizing allegations of the Polish nation's complicity in the Holocaust.
In the early hours of Feb. 1, the Polish Senate passed the draft law on the Institute of National Remembrance of Poland, which, among other things, provides for punishment for denying the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists (supporters of the so-called "Bandera ideology"). The vote took place at 3 a.m. Kyiv time. The bill was backed by 57 senators without amendments, while 23 were against it, and two more senators abstained.
Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the bill amending the law on the Institute of National Remembrance on Feb. 6.