By AJC, Special for USDR
AJC is enraged by a Polish lawmaker’s claim that Holocaust-era restitution by Poland should cease. MP Slawomir Kopycinski, of the Europa Plus party, called the Regulatory Commission for Jewish Communities “the fourth partition of Poland,” and said the government body should be shut.
“Mr. Kopycinski’s claims are specious and completely divorced from the reality of Polish restitution, which has largely been a slow and incomplete process,” said Rabbi Andrew Baker, AJC Director of International Jewish Affairs.
Baker, who has long been involved in negotiations with the Polish government regarding restitution issues, also questioned the timing of Kopycinski’s “incendiary remarks.”
In addition to serving in the Polish parliament, Kopycinski is a candidate for a seat in the European Parliament. “By disparaging the legitimate claims of the Jewish community Mr. Kopycinski is injecting anti-Semitism directly into the elections campaign, a disturbing trend already seen in other European Union countries, but not in Poland until now. We hope that Europa Plus leaders will categorically repudiate Kopycinski’s offensive views.”
Legislation adopted in 1997, creating the Regulatory Commission, pertained to restitution claims on communal property — buildings, houses of worship, cemeteries — and excluded non-religious and commercial properties that may have been owned by Jewish communities.