BBUK Letter to the Polish Ambassador re the restitution law just signed by President Duda
By Jeremy Havardi, 18 August 2021
You will be aware that in our visits to your embassy, we have raised with you the subject of Holocaust restitution on many occasions, explaining its importance to Jews worldwide. We therefore wish to object in the strongest terms to the restitution law that was ratified last week by President Duda.
By providing a 30-year time limit on claims to property stolen by the Nazis and then confiscated by the Communist regime, your government will prevent Jews, among others, from making legitimate claims for restitution. We feel this shows a deeply insensitive attitude towards Holocaust victims and their families, all of whom naturally seek long overdue justice for wartime theft.
We believe that this law will have a negative impact on Polish Jews, as well as harming relations between Poland and Israel. It may also affect the hitherto positive relations that have been built up between your embassy and Anglo-Jewish organisations. In a country that has long stated its desire to commemorate the Holocaust, this law surely has no place.
We would urge the government of Poland to reconsider its decision and amend this unjust law.
Director, BBUK Bureau of International Affairs