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Property Restitution in Poland


Jan T. Gross Rerun. Property Restitution Laws. Postwar Polish Privations Detailed. NSZ. Zolnierze Wykleci. Kryzanowski and Levine

Ghost Citizens: Jewish Return to a Postwar City, by Lukasz Kryzanowski. 2020. Translated by Madeline G. Levine. Harvard University Press, Cambridge and London

Horrors of the Post-WWII Aftermath, With the Jewish Experience in a Contextual Vacuum. Holocaust Industry Pushed

This book focuses on the Jews and Poles of Radom. It is really two books: One that is pretty good in its analysis of the desperate situation faced by Poles after the war, and the other part that repeats the anti-Polish talking points of Jan T. Gross, Jan Grabowski, and Joanna Tokarska-Bakir. This book is another promotion of the Poles-owe-Jews mentality, and is a shill for the Holocaust Industry. It is effectively schizoid, in that it makes no attempt to relate the privations of the Poles to the experiences of the Jews at the hands of the Poles.

The title of this book itself, Ghost Citizens, is prejudicial. It implies a sweeping generalization that Poland’s Jews were invisible and unwanted. At the same time, Kryzanowski keeps using the terms “Jewish Poles” and “non-Jewish Poles”. This is disingenuous. Most Jews living in Poland did not consider themselves Poles. For example, see:

At times, Kryzanowski drifts into outright Polonophobic formulations. He repeats the meme that “many Polish Christians” looked upon the extermination of the Jews with “unconcealed satisfaction”. (p. 265). As with other such accusers, he presents not a shred of evidence to support this onerous charge.

JEWS AND COMMUNISM

Throughout this work, author Kryzanowski starts the words Communism and Communist with a small “c”. This is a new fashion among historians. Is this an Orwellian attempt to minimize the significance of the crimes of the Communists? After all, no one spells Nazis with a small “n”.

The author engages in Zydokomuna denialism (e. g., p. 98). There is a double standard on collective guilt. Kryzanowski laments what he considers Poles blaming Jews collectively for Communism, but forgets basic facts. While relatively few Jews were Communists, the Jewish leadership seldom if ever distanced itself from Jewish Communists, much less condemned Jews for getting involved in Communism! So the Jewish complicity in Communism, and its crimes against Poles and others, is much, much broader than just the card-carrying Jewish Communists.

The charge of imputing collective responsibility can be turned around. How many Jews have made pejorative, even racist charges against Poles as a whole (e. g., Poles drink antisemitism with their mother’s milk)?

JEWS THAT SURVIVED THE GERMAN-MADE HOLOCAUST

Some would limit the number of Holocaust survivors, in German occupied Poland itself, to only 40,000–50,000. In contrast, Kryzanowski seriously entertains 80,000 and even 120,000 Jewish survivors. (p. 51).

Accusations of Polish guerrillas (AK and NSZ) robbing and sometimes killing fugitive Jews is complicated by the fact that many ordinary bandits impersonated the A. K. (p. 65). Likewise, NSZ became a wastebasket term for all those fighting against the newly-imposed Communist authorities. (p. 281).

Kryzanowski believes that the much-mentioned postwar killings of Jews (perhaps 600) targeted both those that happened to be Jewish, as well as Jews qua Jews. However, he admits that very few of these killings can unambiguously be blamed on antisemitism, as Polonophobes are prone to do. He writes, “Thus, we are condemned today to wading through source material in which the separation of the dry description of events from subjective opinions can be exceptionally difficult. This is especially so because for so many postwar crimes there is very limited information about those motivated by anti-Semitism and ordinary crimes.” (pp. 62-63).

HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY AND PROPERTY RESTITUTION ISSUES

Kryzanowski (p. 215) admits that many Poles freely returned the Jewish belongings that had been entrusted to them. One must not generalize.

The author complains about terms such as “post-Jewish property” and “post-German property”, which found their way to both everyday and formal usage. (p. 226). What he conveniently forgets, with reference to the Soviet-confiscated Kresy, is that both local and arriving Ukrainians, Belarussians, and Lithuanians surely thought in terms of “post-Polish property” (including that of my grandparents).

Kryzanowski complains that the May 1945 Polish property-succession law excluded cousins, and more distant relatives, from reclaiming the properties of dead owners. Only close relatives of dead owners could recover such properties. This meant that surviving Jews were at a disadvantage. They were less likely to have surviving close relatives than Polish survivors. (pp. 228-229). However, Kryzanowski forgets the fact that the intense targeting of Jews, in preference to Poles, was a unilateral Nazi German decision and German act. Therefore Germans, not Poles, must assume any financial liabilities resulting from the consequences of the relative rarity of close relatives of Jewish survivors. Finally, the question of distant relatives versus close relatives is much more complex, in Polish law, than Kryzanowski makes it out to be.

The author also complains about the decree of March 8, 1946, which stipulated that all property restitution claims, as from overseas Jews, had to be made by the end of 1947. Jewish organizations claimed that this was not enough time. As a result of Jewish pressure, this was extended by one year. (p. 229). How much time is “enough time”? Who decides this?

There is selective indignation at work. Kryzanowski complains about returning Jews being forced to sell their re-acquired property “in a hurry”, and at low prices. No lament is made about Poles (including my parents and grandparents) being forced to get nothing for their property because of being forced, by the reality of the Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government, not to return to Poland at all.

Postwar Jewish committees and Jewish religious associations, at Radom, argued that they are the obvious heirs of both the communal and individual Jewish properties. In contrast, the Communist authorities claimed such ownership. The author writes, “It was the state, not the postwar Jewish organizations, that was the legal and de facto holder of the property belonging to prewar Jewish institutions and Jewish citizens of Poland who had lost control of that property as a result of the war.” (p. 245). Kryzanowski does not mention the fact that the Communist government was never elected by the Polish people: It was imposed by force. So any property restitution claims arising from its unilateral decisions must be directed, not at Poland, but at those (USSR, Britain, and USA–as at Yalta) that forced Communism on Poland.

FRAUDULENT JEWISH ACQUISITION OF POST-JEWISH PROPERTIES

The requirement for claimants to satisfy strict criteria, for property restitution claims, was well-founded, as there was a very real danger of bogus claims. In fact, Kryzanowski discusses a Jewish ring of fraudsters–the LIPIARZE–that specialized in pretending to be the valid owners of post-Jewish properties (pp. 255-261), and then turning around and selling these properties. The local Radom Jews were ashamed of these swindlers. (pp. 256-257, 261). Valid Jewish owners were surprised to learn that their properties had already been claimed, and even sold. (p. 258).  Evidently, the LIPIARZE were broad-based, active not only in Radom but also at least in Lukow. (p. 316).

The LIPIARZE used false testimony and documents, and relied on a sophisticated network of false witnesses. (p. 257). They took advantage of the fact that documents that prove ownership were commonly destroyed or misplaced because of war-related events.  If in danger of being caught, they quickly sold the property, if necessary for a low price. (p. 259).

I now focus on the Polish experience, and Kryzanowski’s failure to relate it to the Polish “mistreatment” of Jews.

PREWAR RADOM

Jews dominated wholesale and retail trade. Probably about 60-70% of the warehouses and shops belonged to Jews. (p. 12). The Jews owned the tanneries, and there were complaints that Polish workers were not treated well in these enterprises. (p. 17).

WWII AND AFTERMATH

The Soviets were hardly liberators. Kryzanowski comments, “No one was able to restrain the Red Army from plundering and destroying the territory across which it marched.” (p. 50). So Poles, robbed for six long years by the Germans, were now robbed by the Soviets. [Note that no one makes a profound moral issue of this, unlike the situation with Jews robbed by Poles.]

All of this added up. The author writes, “In the postwar reality, joy at the end of German occupation mingled with despair over scarce provisions, unemployment, and the destruction of industry. Fear increased as bloody conflict between the new authorities and the anticommunist [anti-Communist] underground intensified, common crime exploded, and deserters and Soviet soldiers roamed the country.” (p. 50).

As the Red Army was about to enter Radom, Poles engaged in massive looting of once-German establishments, taking foodstuffs, leather good, cars, etc. A Red Army edict warned against Poles doing this, because all the booty now rightfully belonged to the Soviets. (pp. 36-37).

We see, right here [but not mentioned], that Poles had no special affinity for Jewish and post-Jewish property (contra pp. 208-211), and that Poles robbed because of wartime deprivation. Kryzanowski admits as much, “The approximately 60,000 residents lacked everything. As in other Polish cities at that time, it was difficult to procure food and basic necessities.” (pp. 38-39).

Poles also conducted banditry on other Poles [but no big deal is made of that, only of Poles robbing Jews], and this took on staggering dimensions. Kryzanowski comments, “The plague of robberies in Poland in the first years after the end of the German occupation did not pass by Radom…aside from cash and objects universally considered valuable–wedding bands, rings, and watches–criminals often stole clothing, bed linens, lengths of fabric, and other items that were in short supply right after the war.” (p. 63).

There was also a desperate housing shortage, which persisted long after the war, and which [not mentioned] explains why some Poles were not exactly thrilled when Jewish Holocaust survivors returned to reclaim their property. The author writes, “Aside from problems getting work in Radom, it was just as difficult to find an apartment. In 1946 there were on average 2.1 people for every room, while the rate for the country as a whole was 1.7. Considering the relative size of their populations in need of housing, the availability of residential rooms was only slightly better in Radom than in destroyed Warsaw and Lublin, initially the center of political life. In both of those cities, there were an average 2.2 people for every available room.” (p. 41).

HEROICS OF THE ZOLNIERZE WYKLECI (DOOMED SOLDIERS, INDOMITABLE SOLDIERS)

Author Kryzanowski never uses the proper term for the Polish freedom fighters (Zolnierze Wykleci). He never once admits that the Communist government was Soviet-imposed, and that it conducted terror. What does this say?

However, he writes, “Radom and its surroundings were the site of especially intensive actions by partisan groups against the communists. The two largest divisions of the armed underground fighting against the new regime operating in 1945 in the surroundings of Radom were led by Antoni Heda (pseudonym ‘Szary” [Gray]) and Stefan Bembinski (pseudonyms “Harnas” and “Sokol” [Chieftain and Falcon]). The strength of the armed underground in the region is attested by the fact that the linked divisions of Heda and Bembinski, numbering about 150 individuals, managed to break open the prison in Kielce on the night of August 4-5, 1945. One month later, Bembinski’s division briefly took control of the Radom prison and freed the individuals detained in it…That detachments of the armed underground operating in Radom and the surrounding vicinity were able to successfully carry out such actions in the centers of cities bears witness to their large numbers, good supply of arms, and strong local support.” (pp. 45-46).

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Reposted from: https://www.jewsandpolesdatabase.org/2021/02/04/jan-t-gross-rerun-property-restitution-laws-postwar-polish-privations-detailed-nsz-zolnierze-wykleci-kryzanowski-and-levine/

One comment on “Property Restitution in Poland

  1. Pingback: Property Restitution in Poland | Justice4Poland.com – Additional survival tricks

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2021 by in Jewish Supremacism, Jews, Poland, Restitutions and tagged , , , .

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