• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • One should be aware, that 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 such losses. There is a legislative proposal currently pending in the Polish parliament (Sejm) which addresses the issue of re-privatization. The main idea of such legislation is to provide for a return of existing property to its rightful owners. In cases where that is impossible due to subsequent changes in the use, character, description, or ownership, compensation should be available to those persons who qualify as either owners, or lawful descendants of owners. With reference to compensation, it should be noted, that the form thereof would most likely be in the award of shares, or certificates in state owned property. These shares would be fully marketable, or could be gifted or willed to others.

    Assuming, that one's claim was not settled under the 1960 Treaty, there could be a possibility of recovering the given property under the current Polish law, providing it was expropriated wrongfully with violation of the law existed after the War. Unfortunately we regret to inform you, that the Embassy of the Republic of Poland cannot assist in recovering past assets.

    We understand that the recovery process can be a frustrating one. The information provided below could be of assistance to you in your efforts to recover the property. Recovering assets in Poland may be a matter of reviewing the Polish public records of real estate (“Ksiegi Wieczyste”) found in local Polish courts. When using the 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 the Polish public Registers of Deeds could be an advantage. The Embassy Chancellery can provide you with a list of Polish attorneys, or you may contact an attorney through the Polish Bar Association. The address for the Polish Bar Association is: Naczelna Rada Adwokacka, ul. Swietojerska 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 American 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 22 628 3041, Fax: 011 48 22 628 9326); Consulate General of the United States of America, ul. Stolarska 9, 31-043 Krakow, Poland (ph: 011 48 12 216 767, fax: 011 48 12 218 292).

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