(photo credit: .)
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.
“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