Jewish group slams Poland for stalling on compensation

WRJO blasts Polish gov't for delaying law providing compensation for people whose property was confiscated in communist period.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
March 15, 2011 05:41
1 minute read.
Entrance to the ghetto in Cracow

PolandJewInGhetto58. (photo credit: .)

 
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A Jewish group has rebuked Poland for its decision last week to suspend work on legislation that would provide compensation for former property-owners whose assets were confiscated during the communist period.

The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WRJO), representing Holocaust survivors and their heirs worldwide, expressed shock and dismay at the announcement by the State Treasury of Poland.

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“Regrettably, the Polish government has said that for financial reasons they cannot move forward on legislation to compensate for confiscated property. For us, this is an issue of justice and not money,” said Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress and chairman of the WJRO on Sunday.

“We are greatly disturbed by this turn of events as Polish officials have been publicly stating for many years – indeed, too many years – that the property restitution and compensation issue would be addressed and legislation introduced in parliament,” he said. “By its announcement this week, Poland is telling many elderly pre-war landowners, including Holocaust survivors, that they have no foreseeable hope of even a small measure of justice for the assets that were seized from them.”

While most central and eastern European countries have adopted legislation on this issue, Poland, which was home to 3.3 million Jews before World War II, by far the largest Jewish population in the region, has yet to provide compensation for confiscated property.

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