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PAST ASSETS RECOVERY
The Polish government has settled all property asset claims brought against it by U.S. nationals. Under the 1960 "Settlement of Claims of United States Nationals" treaty, the Polish government compensated claimants for the nationalization or other taking of private property and businesses by Poland. The last claim brought under the treaty was settled in 1965. For further information you may write to the Foreign Claim Settlement Commission, the agency in charge of processing such claims.
In February 1997, Poland enacted a law to deal with the restitution of Jewish communal property. This facilitated the recovery of over a thousand buildings/facilities up to this date.
At present, there are no legal provisions in place for submitting claims against Poland for private property losses. There is, however, a legislative proposal currently pending for approval in the Polish Ministry of Treasury which addresses the issue of related compensation.
Assuming that one's claim was not settled under the 1960 Treaty, there may be a possibility of recovering given property under current Polish law, providing that it was expropriated wrongfully with a violation of the law that existed after the War. The Embassy of the Republic of Poland cannot, however, assist in recovering past assets.
The information provided below may be of assistance in property recovery efforts:
- Recovering assets in Poland may be a matter of reviewing Polish public records of real estate ("Księgi Wieczyste") found in local Polish courts. When using Polish public records, one should have the specific address of the property he/she is trying to recover. The names of the previous owners are not sufficient to locate the property.
- The assistance of a Polish attorney to help recover past assets or to research Polish public Registers of Deeds could be helpful. To locate Polish attorneys, you may contact the Polish Bar Association: Naczelna Rada Adwokacka, ul. Swiętojerska 16, 00-202 Warszawa, Poland, (ph.: 635-27-09 or 635-40-62). The Polish Bar will gladly refer you to an attorney.
- Citizens of the United States may also contact the U.S. Consulate in Warsaw or Krakow for assistance. Their addresses are: Embassy of the United States of America, Consular Division, Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/3, 00-540 Warszawa, Poland, (Ph: 011 48 22 625-1401, Fax: 011 48 22 627-4734); Consulate General of the United States of America, ul. Stolarska 9, 31-043 Krakow, Poland (ph: 011 48 12 424-5100, fax: 011 48 12 424-5103).