The new Polish restitution law is discriminatory and immoral, says EJC President Kantor

(Friday, July 23 2021) – European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has slammed the passing of a bill by the Polish Senate which would make it far harder for Jews to claim restitution on properties appropriated and stolen during the Holocaust era.

“This is not just another law, it is legalised theft, and the language is written in such a way that it implicitly seeks to single out Jews as undeserving of retrieving what was stolen from them,” Dr. Kantor said. “It is not privileging Jews as some claim in Poland, it is disenfranchising them, creating a higher bar than for all others.”

“Moreover, this law will also further highlight Poland’s unique position as the only country in the region which makes Holocaust restitution impossible, and runs counter to its international commitments. It is outrageous that someone who survived the Holocaust, who will be in their latter years, will still be deprived justice by this cruel, illegitimate and discriminatory law.”

The new legislation, which was already adopted by the Polish lower house, would prevent Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust and their heirs who lost property due to asset confiscations during the Communist era from reclaiming their property or receiving compensation for it.

“Poland was where the majority of Jews lived before the war and where most were murdered during the Nazi genocide, Dr. Kantor continued. “All we are asking for is justice and decency, and both are severely compromised by this law.”

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