The Polish government has decided to “re-examine” a draft bill to compensate Holocaust survivors for property confiscated from Jews during World War 2, Ynet reported, citing the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), which expressed a concern that the Polish Justice Ministry would slip the bill into cold storage for the foreseeable future.
WJRO chairman Gideon Taylor his expressed deep concern about the move, and called on the Polish government to expedite and improve the bill. “We call on the Polish government to enact a just and fair law for all those whose properties have been confiscated, including Holocaust survivors from Poland and their families,” he said, adding, “The survivors who waited more than 70 years can not wait any longer.”
It is believed that the reason for returning the law to the Justice Ministry is the wave of anti-Semitism sweeping Poland, and the government’s fear that returning property to Jews would not win them friends in the Polish public.
The draft bill, which was published in October and sparked an international storm (the WJRO criticized it harshly because it included clauses that effectively prevent any reparations to the vast majority of the survivors and their families), was supposed to be approved by the end of 2017.
According to the bill, a survivor who wishes to file a claim must be a Polish citizen (today) who lived in the country when their property was confiscated by the communist regime. Under these conditions, most survivors who left Poland during or immediately after the Holocaust would not be able to file a lawsuit.