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- Copy/paste the letter posted below (feel free to amend the letter or to add your own comments)
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Dear Member of the House of Representatives
I am your constituent residing at …………………………… I would like to urge you to vote against Bill H.R.1226 and Senate Bill 447 for the proposed Bill disregards historical truths and goes against the existing laws.
Restitution for heirless property, a misnomer in this case, is against the Western legal tradition and against the existing law. In all Western countries, the US included, heirless property escheats to the state.
The Bill HR1226 and the Senate Bill 447 leaves out other ethnic, and religious groups who were killed by Germans during WWII and who left behind heirless properties.
Due to the fact that before WWII Poland had the largest Jewish community in Europe, a lot of properties belonging to the Jews who perished in the WWII were located in Poland. As a result, Poland is the main target of that Bill.
According to the 1960 Treaty between the communist government of Poland and the U.S., Poland compensated American nationals whose assets had been nationalized by the Polish communist government. The treaty included an indemnification agreement, which was intended to shield Poland from any additional claims and compensation demands. Signing into law and the actual enforcement of the reconciled Bills S447 and HR1226 would violate the terms of the 1960 Treaty between the United States and Poland.
Poland has resorted to various means in order to return properties to their rightful owners.
Thousands of people with legitimate title claims – regardless of their ethnic origin – have recovered and are still recovering their properties through the court system pursuant to the private property law.
Jewish religious and communal properties in Poland have been returned or compensated for by now, pursuant to the 1997 law.
The Bill treats Poland and her citizens as perpetrators of the Jewish Holocaust rather than another victim of WWII German atrocities. Poland suffered the most of all countries during WWII. Poland lost 3 million ethnic Poles and 3 million Polish Jews and experienced physical destruction like no other European country. Poland was betrayed in Yalta by her allies, Britain and the U.S., and placed under the Soviet devastating occupation and oppression for over forty years after the end of WWII. In this Bill one victim goes after another victim for compensation. That’s not justice.
Passage of the Bill could have a financially devastating effect on Poland, a strong ally of the United States in Central Europe. Severely weakened Poland would not be in the best interest of the US.
I strongly urge you to vote against this grossly flawed Bill.