Polish lawmaker calls for end to Jewish property restitution


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A parliament member in Poland called for shuttering the country’s commission that restores property owned by Holocaust victims to their legal heirs. 

Slawomir Kopycinski, a candidate for the European Parliament, on Thursday called the Regulatory Commission for Jewish Communities “the fourth partition of Poland,” alluding to previous partitions of the country in the 1700s and again in 1939. 

The Regulatory Commission was established in 1997 to return Jewish-owned property seized after World War II by Poland’s communist government to its legal heirs.

“Based on the whims of several unknown men, the public buildings are returned to Jewish communities,” Kopycinski, of the center-left Europa Plus party, said at a news conference.

Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, called Kopycinski’s statement “disgusting.”

“All cases are investigated and verified,” Kadlcik said in a statement Sunday. “Returning this property can hardly be called ‘a partition of Poland’ because the Jewish community is not an alien invader, but rather the citizens of the Republic of Poland, who have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. “

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