US State Department pleased with changes to Polish anti-defamation law

In a Wednesday press release, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said "the United States welcomes the Polish Parliament’s passage of amendments to its Institute of National Remembrance Law."

"The Holocaust and the crimes of the Nazis are an unspeakable tragedy in the history of Poland and mankind," Heather Nauert said.

"We agree that phrases attributing responsibility to the Polish state for crimes committed by the Nazis on occupied Polish territory, such as 'Polish death camps,' are inaccurate and hurtful," the statement went on to say.

"Such misrepresentations are best confronted through free and open dialogue," Nauert added.

"This action underscores Poland’s commitment to open debate, freedom of speech and academic inquiry," Nauert also said.

The Polish parliament on Wednesday passed an amendment to the Institute of National Remembrance legislation, also known as the anti-defamation law, scrapping the penalisation provisions originally aimed to protect the country's good name in the context of WWII crimes committed by Nazi Germany, but which sparked serious controversy in Israel and the United States due to fears that such penalties may restrict research into the Holocaust.

Later in the day the president signed the amended legislation into law.