New York State Assembly man Dov Hikind attacks Poland – Statement by the Polish Consul General

Statement by the Consul General of Poland in New York Maciej Golubiewski

It has recently come to my attention that New York State Assembly man Dov Hikind has started a website that aims to criticize the recently enacted law amending the provisions of the National Remembrance Institute’s law in Poland.

While he has all the right to do so, it is important to draw attention to factual errors as to the scope and application of the proposed law that appear in the text and the video on the website.  The law does not deny the Holocaust. To the contrary, it targets the problem of public statements that diminish the role of Holocaust’s actual perpetrators, the German Nazis, specifically by spreading defamatory statements to that effect. In fact, in response to criticisms of the Polish Anti-Defamation Law, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, Sigmar Gabriel, made it clear in a public statement that “there is absolutely no doubt as to who was responsible for the concentration camps.  This organized murder was perpetrated by our Nation and no one else.  If there were individual collaborators, they do not change anything in this matter.”

The video material on the website contains an erroneous term “Polish Death Camps,” which is often used as an attempt to push the responsibility for the Holocaust on the Polish Nation and the State. The context in which this term is used on the website makes it clear that it is supposed to purposely create a false impression that the Nazi-German concentration camps operating on the territory of German-occupied Poland involved Polish consent and cooperation.  Let us not forget that thousands of non-Jewish Poles perished in those very camps together with their Jewish brethren.

It is deeply worrisome that someone representing the city of New York in the New York State Assembly would purposefully use the expression that has been officially condemned by both Israel and Poland and is officially considered inaccurate by the stylistic standards of most important US newspapers.  It is all the more concerning that this is done in an apparent effort to spread disinformation about the intentions and motivations of the Polish Anti-Defamation Law, which explicitly allows for unfettered historical debates and does not in any way aim to deny documented cases of anti-Semitism and criminal acts committed by Poles against Jews during World War 2 as Assemblyman Hikind suggests.

I fondly recall a warm welcome I received on the floors of the New York State Assembly and the Senate on 6 March 2018.  I firmly believe that the views of Assemblyman Hikind are not representative of the whole Assembly as he has suggested in the video on his website.  We should not let such provocations taint the long-lasting friendship between the State of New York and Poland.