Saturday, December 12, 2015

No. 4 The Jews in Hitler's Military

A young American is documenting the stories of hundreds
of German veterans of Jewish descent.
Many lost family to the Holocaust
 while serving the Nazi regime.

LONDON — Sustained by scholarship, peanut butter and a sense of mission, American Bryan Rigg is exploring an eerie and uncharted no man's land of Holocaust history. Rigg interviews former German soldiers of Jewish heritage, some of them high-ranking officers, who fought for Adolf Hitler's Third Reich in World War II--
during the Holocaust, when the Nazis slaughtered 6 million Jews.

"Thousands of men of Jewish descent and hundreds of what the Nazis called 'full Jews' served in the military with Hitler's knowledge. The Nazis allowed these men 
to serve but at the same time exterminated their families," Rigg said. 
(according to different sources 150 thousands – add. Zk)
On a heady journey of personal and professional discovery, the 25-year-old Texan has talked with more than 300 of these veterans, including a handful in California. Passed along from one old soldier to another, he has crisscrossed Germany over four years, often by bicycle, sometimes sleeping in railroad stations to stretch his budget.
Rigg said he has documented the Jewish ancestry of more than 1,200 of Hitler's soldiers, including two field marshals and 10 generals, "men commanding up to 100,000 troops." In about 20 cases, soldiers of Jewish heritage were awarded the Knight's Cross, Germany's highest military honor, he said.

Along the way, Rigg, who is of German extraction and was raised as a Protestant, has discovered that he too has Jewish ancestry. Like many of the families he has visited, Rigg had distant relatives who were killed for being Jewish--and others who died fighting in battle for Nazi Germany.

The old soldiers give Rigg both documents and their stories of war, peace and suffering. He says many stillstruggle with a question that is a challenge to history: 
If I fought in the German army while my mother died in a Nazi concentration camp, am I a villain or a victim? Many of the men Rigg meets cling to Nazi terminology, describing themselves as half-Jewish, half-German. Sometimes they weep as they reminisce, these Germans now in their 70s and 80s, many of whom killed on 
the battlefield for a monstrous regime while their families were being killed by it.

"In many cases, these men have not talked about it for 50 years. When I come, it is as if they have opened up a coffin they thought they buried so long ago. 
It all comes out," Rigg said.
One of his discoveries was a 1944 German army personnel document listing 77 high-ranking officers "of mixed Jewish race or married to a Jew." Two generals, eight lieutenant generals, five major generals and 23 colonels are on the list. Hitler personally signed declarations for all 77 on the 1944 list asserting that they were of German blood, thereby exercising his right of exception under 1935 Nazi legislation that barred anyone with a Jewish grandparent from becoming an officer.

Deciding exactly who was to be classified a Jew stirred great internal debate among Nazi leaders. Hitler loathed Jews, but he also needed experienced commanders and fighters."What's fascinating is how involved Hitler was in the screening process," Rigg said. "At the height of the war, he was personally deciding whether this private or that should be of German blood. A private!" He said there were at least a dozen exception lists approved by Hitler--naming ranking officials not only in the armed forces but in the civilian administration that worked with the military.  In interviews and research in Germany this month, Rigg found still more Wehrmacht officers of Jewish descent and more than 1,500 pages of documents, both from veterans and their families and from the wartime German archives 
that Rigg explores with these people's consent.

"Thousands of men of Jewish ancestry fought in the Nazi military because they were drafted. But many were career soldiers, and that forced them to apply for the German blood declaration," Rigg said. "What's sick here is that, even though Hitler gave the approvals, the officers' relatives were being exterminated 
behind their backs. . . .

Were most of these people so egotistical they didn't care who died just so they could live?" Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, says that the soldiers' individual stories are well known but that there does not seem to have been a serious scholarly attempt to piece them together 
into a larger picture.

The new research also poses vexing questions. "If there were Jews who served in the armed forces to save their own lives, that is one thing. If there were others who served knowing what was going on and made no attempt to save [lives], well then that is unacceptable and dishonorable," Hier said. In the homes he visits, Rigg often sees menorahs and books about Judaism. Many of the veterans "have learned Hebrew," he said, "and a few have converted to Judaism and gotten circumcised in their 40s and 50s."

The Nazi regime reeked of hypocrisy, Rigg's new research makes plain. He documents the case of Field Marshal Erhard Milch, deputy to Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering. Long rumored to have been Jewish, Milch in fact had a Jewish father, which, according to Nazi code, made him unacceptable to serve in the armed forces. But in 1935, Rigg's research shows, Goering, Hitler's chosen successor, falsified documents to declare Milch of Aryan descent by asserting that his mother's brother 
was really his father.

"Many of them lost relatives in the Holocaust and knew they had been sent to Auschwitz or other camps. Yet in 1944, when these men themselves got postcards ordering them to report to a certain train station for deportation, most of them went," Rigg said. "If they really knew what happened to their parents 
and grandparents, why did they go?"

At Cambridge, Steinberg--a New Yorker who has taught in England for three decades—said Rigg's findings will deepen history's view of the Holocaust. While Rigg's quest has at times proved  unsettling for him, for many of the old soldiers that he interviews, a visit from the young, earnest American scholar is cathartic--
even liberating.

"I've gotten letters and phone calls from kids and grandkids of these people, saying: 'Thank God you've come. Now our daddy or grandfather will talk to us
 about all of this,' " he said.

The Jews in Hitler's Military - 2015 Los Angeles Times – article collections

synopsis by Zbyszek Koralewski

Saturday, December 5, 2015

No. 3 Killers of Jews or Saviors of Jews?
synopsis of the article: Zbyszek Koralewski

New study by YU history professor sheds fresh light on Poland’s wartime anti-Nazi Resistance movement.

YU professor Joshua Zimmerman’s book on Poland’s underground fighters during World War II.
A third-generation American Jew who grew up in California, Joshua Zimmerman was raised with an atypical perspective about Poland.  Most heard mostly horror stories  about anti-Semitic Poles. Zimmerman didn’t.

His great-grandparents came from the area of Poland-Russia where most of the world’s Jews had lived for centuries, in the decades before the Shoah. And when they spoke about World War II and the Holocaust, they would concentrate instead on the German role in atrocities. “Ethnic Poles did not appear in the narrative,” said Zimmerman, 48, a professor of Eastern European Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Yeshiva University.

Then, during a college course on the Shoah, a Jewish student whose grandparents were from Poland declared that the Poles were as bad “as the Germans.”

 During a later trip to Poland, Zimmerman met citizens who had lived through the war and told him about the heroic Resistance movement there and its Armia Krajowa (Home Army). And then he read a New York Times obituary of the wife of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, which described how she survived in Nazi-occupied Poland “with the help of the Polish underground.”

“A book was born that day,” said Zimmerman, sitting in his Yeshiva University office, surrounded by books about the Jewish experience in Poland. He would, he says, investigate the truth about the relationship between the country’s Resistance movement and the country’s Jews during World War II. Were the members of Armia Krajowa — AK, as it is popularly known in Poland — saints or sinners?

The result is the recently published “The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939-1945” (Cambridge University Press), a study that raises fresh questions on the eve of the commemoration
of Kristallnacht. “ I have to see it from both sides,” Zimmerman said.

For most Jews, this is not an arcane historical question. Poland was the pre-war home of 3.5 million Jews and the site of the greatest number of Nazi death camps. The behavior of the underground and the AK epitomizes what happened to Polish Jews under German occupation, and it has become an article of faith of most Jews outside of Poland that the Poles abetted or supported the Nazi effort to annihilate the Jewish population.

Zimmerman spent nine years researching the book, which clocks in at nearly 500 pages. Joshua Zimmerman will discuss his book on Monday, Dec. 21, 3 p.m.  at YIVO, 15 W. 16th St., Manhattan
He lived in Poland for a year, studied its language and culture, interviewed aging AK members and Jews who owe their lives to the underground, combing through archives that had become open to historians after Communism fell a quarter-century ago. He also did research in Israel and England.
Zimmerman’s book on some pages challenges and contradicts, and on other pages reinforces, the often prevailing belief about the Polish Resistance’s relationship with Polish Jewry during the war.

“Such a book plays a major role” in understanding Poles’ attitudes towards Jews under Nazi occupation,  said Holocaust expert and author Michael Berenbaum. “The more information we get,
the more we can get to a [balanced] judgment.”

Most Poles, in the view of most Jews, behaved in ways that largely ranged between cold indifference and fiery hatred. Saul Friedlander’s 2007 epic study of the Holocaust, “The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews 1939-1945” (Harper Perennial),” typified this Jewish perspective, that Poles were antagonistic towards Jews, that Polish patriotism and nationalism were equal to anti-Semitism.
Armia Krajowa was at first reluctant to aid Jewish partisans because holding a view that tended to dominate Polish thought, it was “suspicious of the leftist and pro-Soviet leanings of part of the ZOB,” a reference to the Jewish Combat Organization, the main underground Jewish partisan group.
He writes of Armia Krajowa units welcoming Jews into their ranks, supplying arms and money and training to Jewish partisan units, organizing an ultimately unsuccessful effort to breach the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto at the start of the 1943 Uprising, condemning Poles who blackmailed Jews and looted Jewish property, rescuing Jews at the risk of AK members’ lives, helping to found the Committee to Aid the Jews (Zegota), maintaining a sometimes-on/sometimes-off relationship with the ZOB, sending members clandestinely into ghettoes and concentration camps to ascertain the life-threatening situations, and publicizing the Jewish plight through its underground press of the government-in-exile.

 But he also writes of AK units that excluded Jews that killed Jews that refused to offer aid because isolated, small-scale attacks on the German military were regarded as a “futile” waste of limited arms. He writes of right-wing parties that continued to harbor anti-Semitic views and spread anti-Semitic calumnies. Zimmerman’s book offers a balanced perspective…

Popular support for Poland’s Jews decreased after liberation when the Soviet army seemed likely to occupy the country; there was widespread fear the Soviets would impose hated communist rule, which many Poles associated with Jews.

Poland and Russia were enemies during many years of their history as neighbors; Poland, a majority Catholic society, hated atheistic Communism; Poland’s Jews, who had initially welcomed the Red Army in 1939 as a release from anti-Semitic rule and as bulwark against the Third Reich, were viewed by many non-Jews as a disloyal fifth column.

“This study revisits the historical evidence and changes our understanding … by presenting a comprehensive treatment of different patterns of behavior toward the Jews at different times during the war and in various regions of occupied Poland,” Zimmerman writes. “I agree that because the Home Army was an umbrella organization of disparate Polish organizations numbering more than 300,000, from all regions ranging from socialists to nationalists, its attitude and behavior towards the Jews varied widely.”

“That the AK freed 398 Jews from German captivity is pretty much unknown.” Zimmerman says, as is the Jewish role as fighters in the ill-fated 1944 Warsaw Uprising — the nearby Red Army remained uninvolved while the outnumbered Poles were decimated by the Germans and the capital was flattened.

Zimmerman says his book, by presenting both sides of the wartime picture, “has the potential of contributing to the Polish-Jewish reconciliation.” He says his own young children, when they come of age, will also hear both sides. He will tell them of “the legacy of anti-Semitism” in Poland. [Will he tell them why –add. by zk] And they will learn “that there were very good people in Poland…
extraordinary Poles who risked their lives to save Jews.”

review of Zimmerman’s book by Jan Peczkis:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

No. 2 Anatomy of a lie

One of the sages said that we should beware of those who want to arouse in us a sense of guilt because they desire power over us.  Communists understood the validity of this maxim perfectly well.   Julia Brystygierowa, a Jewish executioner of the Stalinist secret police, was famous for repeating that she will beat pride and honor out of Poles, even with a whip if necessary.  She knew that pride and honor of the Poles are the greatest danger for the totalitarian power.   She knew that unless she beats pride and honor out of Poles, she could not enslave them.

In 1989, the Bolshevik Polish People's Republic ceased to exist, but the spirit of Bolshevism and lust for power have united the factions of select representatives of the anti-communist opposition, which means -- erstwhile Communists disguised for Democrats, including Communists with Jewish roots. The Round Table gave Adam Michnik the media.  Gazeta Wyborcza was read by almost all Poles. Adding to that the radio stations as well as TV stations started in the nineties by the people encumbered in the cooperation with 
the Communist secret police (Polsat in 1992 and TVN in 1996), who spoke with the same voice as Adam Michnik and company, 
it must be said that the instruments for beating pride and honor out of Poles were prepared perfectly.

The first victim was the Warsaw Uprising.  It was a dangerous theme.  It was a pattern dripping with Polish pride and honor, which shaped the post-war generation of Poles.  It was dangerous also because in the eyes of the world, it destroyed the Jewish fighting ethos, built with such great difficulty.
 The world knew nothing about the Warsaw Uprising, just because its name was appropriated in 1945-1989 for Jews, who used the name for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.  In an article in Gazeta Wyborcza, titled "Poles – Jews: Black Card of the Uprising"
(29-30.01.1994), a freshly baked historian Michal Cichy, as announced by his patron Adam Michnik, revealed  the "full truth" about the Warsaw Uprising, writing that the insurgents were mostly busy murdering Jewish survivors.
 He also wrote that when it comes to the Warsaw Uprising, 
the Poles have nothing to be proud of, because their heroes were ordinary thugs.  Polish historians immediately denounced these barely disguised lies, and Leszek Zebrowski described 
the publication perfectly as "The manufacture of nonsense
about the Warsaw Uprising." Adam Michnik’s action was a big dud. In the end, Michal Cichy publicly apologized to Warsaw insurgents for his article.

Even before the echoes of unfounded accusations against the Warsaw Uprising could subside, the second stage of inducing in Poles the sense of guilt began.  The symbol of the alleged atrocities of Poles has become a town of Jedwabne.  Agnieszka Arnold began by making a documentary film, "Where's my older son Cain", then in year 2000 Jan T. Gross took on and continued the subject in the book titled "Neighbors," which was heavily advertised across Poland.
 The investigation by the IPN [Institute of National Remembrance] concerning the pogrom in Jedwabne later undermined credibility of the testimony of Shmuel Wasersztejn,  the main witness of the Jedwabne events in the film and in the book, as well as the number of victims estimated at 1500-1600 by Gross.  In order to learn what actually happened in Jedwabne,  the exhumation of victims’ bodies had to be carried out.

The issue of exhumation was consulted with the Jewish side.  
The rabbi of Warsaw and Lodz, Michael Schudrich announced that "Respect for the bones of our victims is more important to us than the knowledge of who was killed and how, and of who killed and how."  Jews agreed only to a limited exhumation, i.e., one where you cannot lift the bones.  Exhumation activities began on May 30th, 2001, but the ban on lifting the bones was upheld.  Since this way of exhumation makes the determination of the number of carcasses and causes of death of individual victims impossible, 
the exhumation activities were discontinued on June 4th, 2001.  Despite the protests of historians, who were disallowed to carry out a genuine investigation, the festival of accusations for alleged war crimes against the Poles continues for over a decade, especially against residents of Jedwabne.  The truth is that this Jewish chutzpah of Jedwabne was not intended to establish the historical truth, but to instill in the Poles  a sense of guilt towards the Jews, again with the intent to break the Polish pride and honor.  

It is indeed pitiful that the highest Polish authorities allowed themselves to be dragged themselves into this forgery, at least on two occasions failing to fulfill their obligation to act consistently with Polish law.  Firstly,  the Polish law is the only law governing within the limits of the Republic of Poland, and according to which 
a regular exhumation should have been carried out in Jedwabne.  Secondly, if Poland insisted to be so elegant and respect Jewish law, it should rely on information coming from truly religious Jews, from known and recognized specialists in Jewish law and Jewish tradition, instead of relying on the words of one American rabbi and succumb to pressures from Polish-American Jewish leftists.

Orthodox rabbi Joseph A. Polak, a former prisoner of the German camps at Westerbork and Bergen‑Belsen, chairman of the halachic council of the Boston rabbinical court, disagrees with the decision banning xhumation of mass graves.  "The victims of Jedwabne should have been exhumed and buried again, either in the nearby Jewish cemetery or in the State of Israel.  The fact that this is not just a halachic option, but a fundamental duty is unambiguously clear from many sources. [...] ". 

In the light of the above interpretation of the Jewish law,
the Polish State should immediately cancel decisions made several years ago, and in consultation with the community of religious Jews, carry out the exhumation, which is the prerequisite to explain what really happened in Jedwabne in 1941.  

No discussion about Jedwabne makes sense until after the exhumation.

At the same time it should be remembered that every historical event is deeply rooted in time and space, i.e., it is conditioned by political and territorial realities.  The region of Bialystok – where 
the town of Jedwabne lies – is a part of Poland which in September of 1939 was invaded and then occupied by the Soviets.  The most shameful and threatening for the Polish population in the eastern Polish lands, was the widespread cooperation of Polish Jews with 
the Soviets in drawing up lists of Poles and Polish families earmarked for deportation to Siberia. 
In other words, in the period from September 17th, 1939 to June 22nd, 1941, it was the Jewish neighbors who pointed to the Soviets, whom of the Poles and Polish families to send “to the polar bears", i.e., to places from which hardly anyone was coming back alive.  
The Jews promote to the world the barn in Jedwabne, in which allegedly lie the remains of the Jews murdered because of Polish anti-Semitism.  But no Jew would ever bend before the monument which stands in the central square in Jedwabne to commemorate Poles murdered by the Soviets in Siberia in 1939-1941, because their Jewish neighbors reported to the Soviet functionaries that these Poles do not love communism.  As a rule, the Jews envelop their own crimes in silence.  Such attitudes of the Jewish communists are a part of the permanent exhibition in 
the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Attitudes of Jews who pointed disloyal residents of Jedwabne to 
the Soviets, thereby sentencing them to death, cannot be extended to the entire Jewish nation.  Yet, the crowd is governed by its own rules, so Poles tended to suspect all Jews for such attitudes.  Therefore, when in 1941 the Germans began to occupy the area of ​​Bialystok, incidents of as yet undocumented deaths of Jews could have occurred in Jedwabne or other places in the region.  Yet, it was not about any anti-Semitism, but about ordinary human revenge among the Poles for their loved ones who, at exactly the same time, froze or died of hunger and exhaustion in the taigas of Siberia – through the Jewish denunciations.  These motifs would qualify possible cases of murder of Jews by Poles in the Bialystok region as a murder of passion.  Revenge is always blind, so it often victimized innocent Jews, because those who sentenced Poles to death usually managed to withdraw with Soviet troops to the east.

Tomasz Gross became famous in recent days for announcing to 
the world that Poles during World War II killed more Jews than they killed Germans.  It would be better for Tomasz Gross to finally shut up, instead of opening Pandora’s boxes.  Because if you count carefully all Polish residents of Jedwabne, residents of Galicia, Volyn, Podlasie and Bialystok exiled in 1939-1941 to die in Siberian gulags because of a denunciation by Polish Jews; if you count all 
the Polish underground soldiers of Bialystok, Lublin, Mazovia and Podkarpacie exiled by the Jewish operatives of NKVD and UB to Siberia in the second round-up in the years 1944-1945; if you count all the victims of the Jewish judges, prosecutors and functionaries of UB and KBW from the years 1944-1956, then the barn in Jedwabne – about which, by the way, no-one knows yet what it really hides – may be an even bigger flop than a failed attempt to discredit
the Warsaw Uprising. 
Author’s sources: 
1.      T. Strzembosz, „Polacy – Żydzi: Czarna karta Gazety Wyborczej”, Gazeta  
       Wyborcza, Feb. 5-6, 1994.
 2..  Żebrowski, „Fabryka bzdur o Powstaniu Warszawskim”, Gazeta Polska, July 13, 1995.  See also: L. Żebrowski,  „Paszkwil Wyborczej”, Warsaw, 1995.
 3.  Piotr Kadlcik, „O ekshumacji”, Kolbojnik – Biuletyn Gminy Wyznaniowej
      Żydowskiej w Warszawie, nr 4/2014. 

(abridged by Zbigniew Koralewski, translated by Andrzej Burghardt, edited by Dr. Mark & Ann Pienkos)

Anatomy of a Lie – Dr. Ewa Kurek  GWIAZDA POLARNA No. 21, Oct. 17, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

No.1 Poland already paid

American Jewish groups again demand the restitution of property. The value of claims is at least 60 billion dollars.
Several days ago, the World Jewish Congress, the World Organization of Jewish Affairs for Restitution,as well as Stuart Eisenstat, special advisor to the United States Secretary of State for Holocaust issues, expressed deep disappointment, sadness and regret at the suspension of work on the re-privatization bill.
The appeal for restitutions was joined by the Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich who has stated that the refusal to return property is immoral. It is strange that the representatives of the Jewish community somehow do not get it that their claims are groundless, that the Polish state has no outstanding ommitments regarding restitution of property, and that re-privatization continued  for years and has already led to the return of tens of thousands of properties by way of administrative and judicial intervention. Three years ago, the United States Congress in its resolution included such wording: "the Polish government IS URGED for the immediate enactment of a fair and omprehensive law.... We URGE also to ensure that the law on restitution and compensations are established as a non-bureaucratic, simple and transparent process.... "

It may of course be that it is impossible to determine the familial heirs of the estates taken from their Jewish owners. Then, under such circumstances, as claimed by Jewish organizations, estates should be transferred to foundations designed to deal with the commemoration of Jewish heritage. The value of the potential claims relating to Jewish property is variously estimated,
the lowest given sum is 60 billion dollars. 
[Yet In any democratic country the related applicable rule of law holds that the only entity legally entitled to the successive ownership of any assets left by her heir-less and intestate citizens is the government of their country which, in these cases, is Poland. – added by zk]

(The United States Congress should remember who sold Poland "down the river" to Stalin at Tehran and Yalta during World War II, and who imposed communism in Poland by killing the opposition.  Morally, it would seem appropriate for the United States and the World Jewish Congress to admit that it is about time that legislative work on a bill should be initiated that would compensate Poland and its citizens for their properties east of the Kurzon Line that had been arbitrarily and forcibly seized on what was to be a permanent basis by the Soviet Union in September 1939, in an action similar to that of the seizure of Crimea by the Russian Federation some 75 years later. - added by zk) 

Poland and accession to NATO (extortion of restitutions - add by .zk)
Jewish organizations since the mid-1990s have attempted to persuade Poland to enact laws of restitution (then in exchange for consent to admission to NATO). Initially they demanded, above all, the return of the property to Jewish communities. In 1997 the Sejm passed a law of the reimbursement of municipal property,          and because of that the Polish Jewish communities regained many public facilities,     the return of which occurred in a very wide range, and the formalities were maximally reduced. Rightly so, then the Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski stated that Poland had generously returned communal Jewish properties.

As of today
From a legal point of view, the Jews who lost their estates in Poland during World War II already received full compensation in accordance with the United States - Poland Agreement of July 16, 1960. This is confirmed by the United States Department of Justice. Compensation for the effects of the Holocaust was paid by the German state. It was the Germans who invaded Poland, confiscated Jewish estates, organized and carried out the Holocaust. Under the Treaty of 1952 between the State of Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany (i.e., West Germany), that non-communist German nation sent Israel approximately  3.5 billion marks for damages. In addition, Israel received annual economic and financial assistance. The total value of all financial benefits from West Germany for Israel and its citizens were estimated at 60 billion marks. That it was the right sum of payment and full satisfaction was evident by the fact that the Jewish community since then has not announced any other claims against Germany, and from its related operative negotiation terminology  the term "German concentration camps"
(and the word Germany, has been replaced by the word, Nazis – added by zk). 

Restitution by Poland to private owners.
Already almost thirty thousand of the former owners and their descendants have obtained favorable rulings for themselves, and almost twice as many cases are being handled. Every case of lost property is different. The properties obtained by the state varied, some stay stable in worse shape, and others regained original elegance thanks to larger investments. Related costs and benefits varied, as it happened that the state had occupied the heavily indebted properties by the former owners and burdened with mortgages. Specialized judicial and administrative measures are designed to thoroughly and properly  settle these matters. In 2010 alone, it paid nearly 150 million złoty to former owners of property from the restitution fund. Therefore, all who desire to have their cases to be dealt fairly should seek recourse before the courts and administrative bodies.

The statement of the Minister

Minister Sikorski has recently recalled the agreement for damages (restitution) concluded in 1960 by Poland and the USA. Under its provisions, Poland submitted $ 40 million to the United States for "total settlement and discharge of all claims of U. S. nationals, both individuals and others, to the Polish Government" for any decision to re-acquire expropriated property. This sum was to be allocated "at the discretion of the Government of the United States",  and also: "After the entry into force of the agreement, the United States Government will not present the Polish Government with, nor will support, the claims of US citizens to the Polish Government." The agreement makes clear that henceforth any claim of United States citizens for compensation  for property lost in Poland can be directed only to  authorities of the American government..

Does Poland have any restitution commitments yet to nationals of other countries?

 John Bogutyn rresponds, president of InterRisk Insurance Company SA,
former Polish Deputy Minister of Finance

As a citizen I am appalled by the recent alleged claims. I believe that we should not have any obligations, because in light of the agreements from the period of my work in the Ministry of Finance, this issue was regulated in the communist era. In the early 1960s in an almost perfect way the Polish government negotiated settlements for the property, which was nationalized and belonged to citizens of other countries, including Americans. A document from the American side was signed by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and on the Polish side by Prime Minister Jozef Cyrankiewicz. It implied that Poland gave $ 40 million to the United States for claims of payments to involved American citizens. This agreement was ratified by the U.S. Congress and the Polish Sejm. The U.S. government took responsibility for any liabilities which could arise on the part of its citizens. Now the correct address for submitting claims is the State Department in Washington. I'm surprised that nobody, neither in the U.S. nor in Poland, remembers that. What I read now about the claims, it seems to me, is a scandal. Why do we have to pay twice for something that has already been paid? This would be an unjustified attempt to extort property, this would be a daylight robbery. Poland had signed such agreements with 14 countries, i.e., liabilities to Swiss citizens were paid by our supplies of coal, Americans were paid in cash. Today, if someone thinks that some property should be his or hers,  that person can always individually take legal action.
It must be remembered that these properties -- apart from their nominal values -- over many years after the nationalization were maintained, repaired, and taxes paid for should be taken into account for any evaluation. In other states that have followed a road similar to that of Poland, e.g.,
 the Czech Republic,  the problem is completely non-existant.

Prof. Lyudmila Dziewięcka-Bokun, law, economics, political science, social policy, rector of the Lower Silesian School of Public Service "Assessor" in Wroclaw

We cannot for generations pay for historical injustice, sometimes even reaching back to the [18th century] Partitions of Poland. Other countries have already done it, and we still expose ourselves to various comments, political, and religious connotations. This should have been closed long ago; otherwise our wealth will be plundered, and distributed anew. Each new Polish ruling party wants to show its good will to the citizens of other countries who report further claims. This must be done once, finally and categorically, so in the future misunderstandings will be avoided.

statements noted by Bronislaw Tumiłowicz

[The letter of June 29, 2015 signed by 46 congressmen addressed to the Secretary of State John Kerry, once again refers to restitutions. It is now a good opportunity for the PAC to summarize this issue and together with the Polish government  end up  restitutions clams  once and for all – comment by zk]-----

(synopsis, translation and footnotes Zbyszek Koralewski, editing Prof. Anthony Bajdek)
Poland already paid - author Andrew Dryszel, April 3, 2011