Polish President Andrzej Duda on Saturday approved a controversial law limiting property restitution for Holocaust survivors, drawing scrutiny from international leaders even as he attempts to highlight its anti-corruption clauses.
Foreign officials including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel foreign affairs minister Yair Lapid condemned the law, with the latter blasting the bill as borderline “Holocaust denial” in a tweet posted Thursday. “It will not pass in silence,” he wrote. “The Poles can not continue to harm the memory of those who perished.”
Duda said he signed the bill “after thorough analysis” and claimed it would end “an era of legal chaos.” He said one of the goals of the law was to limit corrupt individuals from abusing guidelines to take control of property and force out tenants. Still, Blinken described the effort as “severely restricting the process for Holocaust survivors and their families, as well as other Jewish and non-Jewish property owners, to obtain restitution for property wrongfully confiscated during Poland’s communist era.”