The Holocaust Survivors Foundation, a US-based organization representing holocaust survivors which has been critical of restitution efforts by Jewish organizations, commended the Polish media for recent coverage of allegations of mismanagement of restituted assets by their country’s organized Jewish community.
“We commend the Polish and European media who have been reporting on the restitution experience in Poland arising from the disposition of Jewish communal properties, and we commend the Polish Press Association for convening this forum to address the continuing injustices caused by the lack of transparency and accountability in restitution,” Samuel Dubbin, an attorney representing the HSF, said at a press conference on Wednesday in Warsaw.
The conference, Dubbin, told the Post, was convened to “follow through on recent reports by Forbes Poland and other media raising questions about the way that the organizations entrusted with disposing of pre-WWII communal Jewish property have handled the sales and the proceeds” and held is conjunction with the local Beit Warszawa reform congregation.
In September, the Polish edition of Forbes magazine ran a report comprised of several articles that targeted the leaders of Poland’s organized Jewish community along with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, or FODZ, the WJC and the World Jewish Restitution Organization.
The report alleged that Monika Krawczyk, CEO of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, was “charged by her employers, the largest Jewish world organizations, with selling and liquidating as fast as feasible the half of the restituted communal property she controls on behalf of those organizations, and with transferring the moneys to their bank accounts for further waste.”
Following the publication of the article, Ronald Lauder, the President of the World Jewish Congress and the Chairman of the WJRO, shot back, stating that “neither the WJC nor the WJRO, of which the WJC is a founding member, have ever sought or received money coming from the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, as the articles suggest.”
The reports, Lauder countered, “are littered with factual errors, and it is lamentable that the authors did not bother to check the facts.”