Skip to comments.Poland and Ukraine resist restitution of heirless Holocaust property
Posted on 06/04/2009 1:46:20 PM PDT by lizol
Poland and Ukraine resist restitution of heirless Holocaust property
By Cnaan Liphshiz
Just three weeks before an international conference on Holocaust assets, Jewish and Eastern European delegates are still debating whether countries like Poland and Ukraine should give back heirless property that belonged to murdered Jews.
While those countries have opposed restitution of property whose owners left behind no heirs, Jewish representatives of the Holocaust Era Assets Conference, scheduled to open in Prague on June 26, say such property should go to Jewish organizations in lieu of heirs.
"Until now, certain countries have resisted restitution for lost heirless property, citing laws that state that such property should go to their treasuries," said David Peleg, the newly appointed director of the World Jewish Organization for Property Return. "We don't agree with this assertion."
Peleg estimates the value of heirless Jewish property in Poland alone at billions of dollars.
"The reason there's so much unclaimed property is because the Nazis killed off whole families," he said.
The conference, which will bring together representatives of some 50 countries and 30 non-governmental organizations, is the first wide-scale forum involving assets from several countries to convene in over a decade, since the Washington Conference of 1998. Israeli officials say the conference may be the last opportunity to set principles that could lead to wide-scale compensation for lost Jewish property.
Asked whether he thought the recalcitrant Eastern European countries would eventually come around, Peleg would only say that "this is achievable." He said the U.S. State Department's involvement in the issue "has been very helpful."
Former Mossad official Reuven Merhav, who will head Israel's delegation to Prague, called the negotiations "intensive" and "delicate."
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
Not to mention Russians kicking Poles out of the areas absorbed into the Soviet Union after the war.
--The condition of the land itself. How much land? What are the resources to/on it? What, if any, improvements? Is it (still) a howling wilderness or has it become part of the grounds of an international airport? Would those seeking this particular plot of land then be charged for any and all post-WWII improvemets, even monifications, on/to this same land over the previous 60+ years?
--The statue of the land in question. Is it still in limbo, after 60 years? Is it currently generating taxes? Has it been sold to (a) private individual(s) and/or businesses? If so, where does this leave the current owners?
It is, Russian abuses have to be taken up with the Russians. I believe Poland has/is attempting to address situations like this caused by the Polish communist government. And no, justice can't be achieved.
Yes,the 1968 forced emigration of most of the remaining Polish Jews was a shameful episode in Polish history, and the Communist traitors responsible should have been brought to justice.
Maybe lizol can help, but I believe Poland has returned public building, Synagoges and such, to the Jewish community. That's what I was referring to. It becomes more complicated when you're dealing with individual situations, it becomes a $$ thing. You can't compensate for the missed opportunities of the last 60 years. Particularly for those who survived.
I think it all pans out in the wash or something.
My parents were upper middle-class in one of the republics, and were slated to be deported via cattle car or worse.
Russian Jews “temporarily” occupied my parents’/grandparents’ homes. These homes were actually quite modest, not that that mattered to those who hated Catholics/Christians and anyone making above a certain amount. [Gee, this sounds familiar.]
So, of course, they were unable to return to their country and homes since Communist-sympathizer FDR betrayed the republics at Yalta.
Almost 50 years later, they could have had their houses back, but couldn’t afford the legal fees, don’t have the political power, and frankly, wanted to put the past behind them, not dwell in self-inflicted misery as some other war survivors are apt to do.
The sad thing is, Jewish organizations fighting tooth and nail to gain such assets, simply feed the existing prejudices of latent anti-Semitism in Poland, and elsewhere.
This is the same reason why racial/ethnic quotas are counter-productive to ending racist attitudes....
It is normal longstanding law that assets with no heirs go to the Polish governeent—which had nothing to do with the Nazis.
Something like 9 MILLION non-Jewish Poles—were also murdered by the Nazis (more than the total number of Jews killed in all Nazi-controlled Europe)—and I have no doubt that their heir-less property also went to the Polish government.
Given that all kinds of people suffered 70 years ago under the Nazis, why should current day Jewish people be given advantages under the law?
The Holocaust was a LOT bigger than just killing Jews.
You forgot to add, "AND the Soviets."
Very true. But the topic of the article was about Nazi era property seizures.
Shouldn’t matter whether they were Polish Christians or Polish Jews, or whether they were murdered by Nazis or Soviets. In the end they were all dead, and should be treated equally under the law.