Restitution -- Not Just a Jewish Issue

01 Dec 2012 3:07 PM | Anonymous

Restitution -- Not Just a Jewish Issue


Letter from Alex Storozynski

President and Executive Director

The Kosciuszko Foundation, New York, New York


Letter to the Editor of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

The article “Holocaust restitution making little headway in E. Europe, Poland seen as worst offender” was biased and misleading.

First, this is not merely a Jewish issue.  Of the Polish property that was confiscated by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, only about 18 percent belonged to Jews, while the remaining 82 percent belonged to gentiles, who also did not get their property back.  They are just as upset.  Your article made it seem that only Jews had property confiscated and only Jews owned real estate in Poland.  Another issue that complicates matters is that one-third of all of Poland’s land was annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II.  So what happens to families like mine who owned buildings and land in places like Lwów, which was renamed Lviv and is part of Ukraine, even though it was built by Poles?


The Nazi Germans leveled Warsaw to the ground in 1945. It was blasted into a pile of bricks. The city was rebuilt by Polish slave laborers under the Soviet communist yoke. So who owns which brick?  You do your readers a great disservice by trying to turn this into a case of anti-Semitism.  This is not just a Holocaust issue.  This is not just a Jewish issue.  It’s much more complicated than that.  Landlords with deeds or other proof that their property was confiscated deserve to be heard, whether they are Jewish or not.

Alex Storozynski
President and Executive Director
The Kosciuszko Foundation
New York, N.Y.



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