Restoration of Looted Property, Full Rights, Promised Polish Jews by New Committee
Menu JTA Search

Restoration of Looted Property, Full Rights, Promised Polish Jews by New Committee

Download PDF for this date

Polish Jews were assured today by the new polish Committee of National Liberation, which has established headquarters in Chelm, in central Poland, that their looted property will be restored and that all legal rights will be guaranteed them. The assurance was contained in a manifesto broadcast by the Moscow radio.

The head of the War Reparations Department of the committee is Dr. Emil Sommerstein, a prominent Jewish member of the pre-war Polish Sejm. Dr. Sommerstein was arrested when the Russians occupied eastern Poland in 1939 and was sent into the interior of Russia. He was released in the winter of 1941 following the amnesty granted Poles in Russia under the agreement negotiated by the late Premier Sikorski and Premier Stalin. At one time Dr. Sommerstein was slated to receive a seat in the Polish National Council in London.

The manifesto pledges “democratic freedom and equality to all citizens, regardless of race, creed or national origin” and urges increased participation by the Polish people in the war, stating that “the hour of revenge against the Germans has struck – revenge for the burnt villages, destroyed cities, ruined churches, slave labor, concentration camps, the executions at Majdanek, Treblinka and Oswiecim, and the massacres in the ghettos.”

Discussing the restoration of confiscated property, the manifesto says that “in view of the sufferings inflicted upon them by the occupation forces, Jews will be guaranteed the restoration of all rights through the existence of legal and actual equality.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund