On September 1st Poland presented A REPORT ON THE LOSSES SUFFERED BY POLAND AS A RESULT OF GERMAN AGGRESSION AND OCCUPATION DURING WORLD WAR II, 1939-1945. The Report consists of three volumes: Volume A - A collection of studies; Volume B - Photographic documentary; Volume C - List of atrocity sites. The download will start automatically.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The amendment to the Polish Code of Administrative Procedure - explained

 The Polish Ambassador to Israel, Marek Magierowski, posted a series of entries on his Twitter account. He called it an 'explanatory thread' and it constitutes a coherent explanation of the latest amendment to the Polish Code of Administrative Procedure. The Ambassador shed light on the historical background of the whole affair.

The amendment to the Polish Code of Administrative Procedure: an explanatory thread. 
With some historical background and – this time – in English. #WW2 #Restitution #Holocaust

Imagine a house in Warsaw. Burnt out and abandoned in 1945. Before the German occupation six families had lived in this place. One of them was Jewish. Some tenants perished, some were deported to concentration camps, some others fled the persecution.

Shortly after the war the house was nationalised by communists. Two new families moved in. Then three more. Some of them had lost their own property in eastern Poland, now part of the Soviet Union. And never received compensation.

Births, weddings, funerals. Precarious lives under communist dictatorship. Generation after generation.

Then comes freedom. In 1990 local authorities offer the remaining occupants a deal: you can purchase your flats, at a reasonable price. Most eagerly agree. New sewage system is installed. Roof mended, windows replaced, furniture updated.

Then comes a surprise. In 2005 a law firm representing prewar proprietors suddenly pops up. They demand for the premises to be vacated and returned to the legitimate owners.

Lots of similar claims – predominantly in Warsaw. Some of them straightforward and transparent. But many others dubious, to say the least. Some ownership certificates are missing, some documents are forged. Fertile ground for egregious real estate scams.

The so-called “wild reprivatisation” leads to utter chaos. Mafia-like entities control large part of the real estate market. Organised white-collar crime thrives.

After 45 years of communist rule, and more than 30 years since democratic transition, people who had never had anything to do with the war and the Holocaust, now face eviction from the properties they had legally acquired and invested in.

They live in fear and insecurity. Hundreds of pending cases and hundreds of families who do not know whether the apartment or the house they live in is actually theirs.

In 2015 the Polish Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling which basically put an end to these predatory practices. Now it is being implemented in the Polish Code of Administrative Procedure. A 30-year, non-discriminatory statute of limitations has been imposed…

… the longest possible according to Polish legal system. The administrative procedures will be terminated. Nevertheless all interested parties will still be entitled to file civil suits and obtain compensation, in a fair procedure before the court of law.