New regulations in Poland on release of civil registration records #austria-czech


Gesher Galicia SIG
 

Gesher Galicia recently learnt that the Polish Ministry of the
Interior had earlier this year introduced an amendment to the law of
2015 that applies to Civil Registration Offices. The amendment is
referred to as:
"Art. 128. - Transfer of civil registration books to archives - Law on
civil registration records",
and forms part of a law of February 21, 2019.

The first paragraph sums up the existing law, with a 100-year rule for
making birth records held in civil registration offices publicly
accessible, and an 80-year restriction on marriage and death records.
The text then creates a new obligation on the staff in civil
registration offices (USC) to find proof of death for people listed in
birth books and marriage books, before such books are made accessible
- even if a book is more than 100 (or 80) years old. If this
obligation was carried out meticulously to the letter, it would be
virtually impossible to clear any birth or marriage book issued in the
past century for public release.

The next paragraph of the text appears to make things somewhat easier,
by allowing the transfer of a book in some circumstances, even if the
death certificate cannot be found.
" ...If it is determined that the death certificate has not been drawn
up for the person and no information on death has been registered and
that the person has not been issued a PESEL number, the head of the
registry office is entitled to forward the books to the appropriate
state archives, after the periods referred to in paragraph I [that is,
of 100 years or 80 years]."

A PESEL number is a sort of social security number, which a person
would keep throughout their lifetime, and which is used to record
events including births, deaths and marriages. The PESEL system was
introduced in the 1970s.

It remains to be seen how strictly staff in civil registration offices
search for death records (records that would otherwise be due for
release) of people named in birth and marriage records. Even at best,
there are likely to be considerable delays in making these books
available.

A transfer >from USC Warsaw to AGAD of around 30 Jewish vital record
books (>from the former eastern Galicia) was expected in February of
this year, but was delayed at the time for reasons apparently
unrelated to any new regulations. After further delays, it was
expected to arrive in September, but has still not appeared. It is
unclear whether at least the death registers in this consignment (with
death records up to 1938) will be transferred this year. Death
records, of course, are not included in the new regulation.

For further information, please contact: info@geshergalicia.org
Please do NOT reply to this email.


Tony Kahane
Research Coordinator and Board Member, Gesher Galicia
https://www.geshergalicia.org/

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