(Poland) Property Claims Restoration for City of Warsaw -Time Limitation Due to New Legislation #general
Jan Meisels Allen
On 17 September 2016 a new law took effect in Poland that results in
limiting the rights of claimants to those who have filed under the Warsaw
Decree. The new law terminates many private property claims in the City of
Warsaw after 1945 (Warsaw Law) -unless the heirs come forward to reactivate
the claim. Please note the new law does *not* permit for new claims to be
filed, but rather only permits claims already filed with the City of Warsaw
under the Warsaw Decree. The original Decree issued in 1945 transferred
ownership of all properties within the prewar boundaries of Warsaw back to
the city of Warsaw. This only pertains to the City of Warsaw as prescribed
in the Warsaw Decree and no other parts of Poland.
Claimants must be able to prove their rights to the property or they will
lose their rights to the property and the property will be transferred to
the state treasury or the City of Warsaw. When Poland was under the
Communist regime, the regime seized much of the pre-war property of all
Poles, and therefore the claims languished for decades. The law permits
only 6 months beginning >from the date of publication on the new law and it
became effective in mid-September time is of the essence.
The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) has created a webpage with
a searchable database to help you identify whether you or your relative may
have filed a claim under the Warsaw law. For background information on the
new Warsaw property legislation see: http://tinyurl.com/zw39znw
What WJRO did was match the street addresses which the City of Warsaw
published -see below-- with the property owners found in the 1939/1940
Warsaw Homeowners Directory Go to: http://warsawproperty.org/ after reading
the aforementioned website on WJRO. Thank you to Jewish genealogist, Logan
Kleinwaks (genealogyindexer.org) for his assistance in digitizing and using
the Polish directories and other aides to help WJRO accomplish this feat.
Not all homes listed are necessarily those previously owned by Jews.
However, there was a large Jewish population in pre-war Warsaw.
In June 2016 the City of Warsaw published over 2600 street addresses with
open claims without publishing the names of the claimants or owners. See:
To read more about this see http://tinyurl.com/z745mlq
Thank you to Jewish genner Randy Herschaft, AP for informing us about this
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee