Center Supports the Association of Holocaust Organizations' Condemnation of Polish Legislation on the Holocaust
Earlier this week, the Board of Directors of the Association of Holocaust Organizations (AHO) issued a statement on the newly-revised Polish legislation on the Holocaust. The older version passed in February made it illegal to accuse the "Polish nation" of involvement in the Shoah and threatened criminal penalties for violators anywhere around the globe. The new version keeps most of the law's harmful and disturbing provisions in place.
The Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies, a member of AHO, fully supports the organization's statement and its call on the two houses of the the Polish Parliament, the Polish government, and President A. Duda to take all steps necessary to revoke the law.
The AHO's full statement reads:
The Board of Directors of the Association of Holocaust Organizations today called upon the government of Poland to revoke its controversial law regarding Holocaust research and stated that amending the law to remove criminal prosecution while leaving open the possibility of civil procedures is not sufficient.
The law continues to place the burden of proof on Holocaust survivors, scholars and educators. This is not an acceptable solution and any attempt to inhibit historical research or threaten open expression on the Holocaust in Poland must be rejected. Therefore the Board shares the concerns raised by institutions such as Yad Vashem, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as experts such as Prof Yehuda Bauer who have all pointed out that historical facts cannot be legislated. The AHO Board also urges Poland’s government to take immediate steps to counter the antisemitism that has erupted in the wake of the controversy surrounding the law.
The Association of Holocaust Organizations is an international network of over 370 organizations and individuals working for the advancement of Holocaust education, remembrance and research.