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Current Affairs

Poland’s laws on Jews property

Date: 01 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Property restitution laws have been changed in Poland after the lower house of the Parliament passed a bill in this regard.

 

Background

The measure has attracted criticism domestically as well as internationally for being insensitive towards Jews.

 

Details

  • The Nazi government had seized properties of Jews during their occupation of Poland. Such properties could earlier be claimed by owners and their successors.

  • The new legislation was undertaken to implement a decision by tribunal that there should be a time limit for reversing faulty administrative decisions.

 

Effects on Jews

  • Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany during the World War II. This was followed by widespread looting and killing of Jews.

  • The entire Jewish population of the country was wiped out and their properties nationalised by the Communist government after the war.

  • Jewish successors and organisations have been demanding compensation or restoring of such stolen properties.

  • The process of restitution has been started since 1989, according to some estimates while others consider that it happened long ago.

  • Many groups have recorded the importance of these properties for their Jewish owners and the memories associated with it.

 

Importance of Jewish properties

Estimates have that Jewish properties played a major role in generating revenues for Poland after the war. The combined value of such properties valued more than $30 billion.

 

Poland’s opinion

Poland says that it was also a victim of such War and it is not ready to bear the financial burden of giving compensation or returning properties.