February 14 – The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) called on the Government of Poland to move forward quickly with improved legislation to address property confiscations. This came after the Polish Council of Ministers yesterday returned draft legislation to the Ministry of Justice for reconsideration.
“We are concerned that this administrative step will delay passage of this legislation. Elderly Jewish and non-Jewish claimants who have waited over 70 years for justice for their lost property cannot wait any longer,” said Gideon Taylor, WJRO Chair of Operations. “We urge the Government of Poland to quickly pass amended legislation that is just and fair for all who lost property, including Polish survivors of the Holocaust and their families.”
In October 2017, the Polish Ministry of Justice published draft legislation announcing that it would be passed by the end of 2017. WJRO expressed its disappointment that the Ministry’s proposal would exclude the vast majority of Holocaust survivors and their families.
WJRO’s position paper, as submitted to the Ministry of Justice, can be found here.
According to the text published by the Ministry of Justice, the legislation would:
The proposed legislation, in Polish, can be found at the Ministry of Justice website.
Since 1993, the WJRO has urged the Government of Poland to address the issue of Holocaust-era restitution in a comprehensive manner. Roughly half of the Jews who perished in the Holocaust were Polish – approximately 3 million Polish Jews were killed in the Holocaust, 90% of the Polish Jewish population. Poland is the only major country in Europe that has not passed national legislation for the restitution of property unjustly seized by the Nazis and/or nationalized by the Communist regime.
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