U.S. Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones on Polish IPN Bill

The United States supported the re-establishment of an independent and sovereign Poland 100 years ago and we proudly continue to support Poland today.

History, often not easy, is a part of who we are. Poland has experienced many difficult and dramatic historical moments as well as periods of great trials.

We Americans have also had difficult periods in our nation’s history, which we too at times struggle to discuss openly.

We face this difficult task through conversations and the exchange of ideas.

The United States perfectly understands that Poland seeks to defend its good name.  We agree that phrases such as “Polish death camps” are inaccurate and hurtful.

However, we need to combat them in ways that protect basic values.  And for Americans, the most fundamental value is the one enshrined in our Constitution’s First Amendment, protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In America, we have learned that the best antidote to painful and inaccurate words is free speech and education.

We are friends and allies. A lack of understanding between us – the closest of allies and partners – benefits only our opponents.

It is the entire world’s duty to ensure the events that took place during the Second World War and Holocaust never happen again.

We owe it to the victims, the survivors, and future generations.

Open discussion is the only way.  Without dialogue, freedom of speech and freedom of the press, we won’t succeed.