Polarization maintaining optical fibers can be used to transmit linearly polarized light over long distances but their use in cryogenic environments has been limited by their sensitivity to temperature changes and associated mechanical stress. We investigate experimentally how thermal stresses affect the polarization maintaining fibers and model the observations with Jones matrices. We describe the design, construction, and testing of a feedthrough and fiber termination assembly that uses polarization maintaining fiber to transmit light from a 633 nm HeNe laser at room temperature to a homodyne polarization-based interferometer in a cryogenic vacuum. We report on the efficiency of the polarization maintaining properties of the feedthrough assembly. We also report that, at cryogenic temperatures, the interferometer can achieve a sensitivity of 8 × 10−10 rad/Hz⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯√ at 0.05 Hz using this feedthrough.