Statement on President Duda’s decision to sign law

The Polish amendment of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance challenges the right to free and open research and discourse surrounding genocide.

“It was with deep regret that we learned that President Duda of Poland has signed the amendment of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance into power. Over the last few days, the experts of our Committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial and our Honorary Chairman, Professor Yehuda Bauer, have all raised their voices to underline the right to free and open research and discourse. We are disappointed that their voices, along with so many other diplomats, educators, and academics, were not heeded.

The IHRA community – including Poland – is committed to our founding document, the Stockholm Declaration, which outlines the shared commitment of our Member Countries to encourage the study of the Holocaust in all its dimensions and to uphold its truth against those who would deny it. This amendment challenges Poland’s capacity to honor this Declaration.

We regret that Poland did not keep the IHRA community informed about developments with the amendment, as they had proclaimed before and at the IHRA Plenary Session in Berne on 30 November 2017.

Poland is an essential part of the IHRA and we urge a return to a culture of open discourse on the Holocaust as it occurred in Nazi-occupied Poland. The IHRA will continue to follow this matter closely and we call on the Polish President, the Parliament and the Government to annul this amendment to the legislation which encourages a form of distorted memory of the Holocaust and all associated crimes.”

IHRA Chair

IHRA Honorary Chair

Advisor to the IHRA

Working Group and Committee Chairs of the IHRA