Statement on President Trump’s decision to sign Act S. 447

Polish American community is deeply disappointed by President Trump’s decision not to veto the discriminatory Act S. 447.

The Act mandates US Department of State to monitor legislative activity of countries participating in the Terezin Declaration, with regard to the compensation for the Jewish property or transfer of it, including the so called “heirless property”, to American and international claims organizations and to individuals. Concerning Poland, heirless property which belonged to the Polish citizens murdered by the Germans during World War II, escheated to the Polish State in accordance with the article 935 of the Polish Civil Code. American organizations and individuals which are not legal heirs, have no legal title to such claims, and Act S. 447, which discriminates non-Jews victims of the Third Reich, is an assault on justice and social order. The Act also violates the Indemnification Clause of the 1960 Bilateral Agreement between Poland and the USA, in regard of Jewish property nationalized by the communist regime.

Act S. 447 gives American and international Jewish claims organizations possibly more effective means of exerting pressure on Poland with the aim of execution of billions of Dollars for property claims. There have not been until recently legal and moral foundations which could have been basis for such illegal claims directed against Poland. The political brawl, intentionally triggered by Israel and some US Jewish organizations, created political mayhem around new Polish bill about the Institute of National Remembrance and the widespread defamation campaign against Poland in international media and US Congress, have built an artificial moral basis for the acceptance of Act S. 447. We can expect that attacks on Poland will continue till Poland agrees to pay such illegal compensations. We cannot let it happen!

Unfortunately, President Duda and the Polish Government took a passive position with regard to Act S. 447, and yet if they had been proactive and supportive of the efforts of the Polish American community, the threat of legislative, commercial, military and political blackmail from United States could have been reversed. Several days ago, Poland took over the Presidency of the United Nations’ Security Council. There is then a formal avenue of presenting Poland’s interest in a more assertive way and condemning the racist, anti-Polish law. We demand from the Polish Government to stop acting cowardly, and to deceive Polish society that “nothing happened”, and start doing their job. It is ethnic Poles who deserve a support of the US Congress and US President for compensation from Germany and not the self-appointed US Jewish claims organizations which have no legal and moral basis for any “restitution of heirless property”.

A member of the Polish government Jaroslaw Gowin thinks that “Act 447 does not give American authorities any tools of exerting pressure on Poland”, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Jacek Czaputowicz claimed that “Poland as a country is not literally mentioned in that Act”, adding that “every sovereign country has a right to pass any law according to its preference”. He insisted for not putting much weight on the Act S. 477. We cannot agree with such an attitude! We cannot let Poland be robbed!

We are appealing again to the Polish Government for an examination of a legal possibility of suing the United States for violation of the 1960 Bilateral Agreement.

We are appealing to the Polish Parliament for a creation of a legal basis for claims in relation to heirless property left by the deceased Polish Americans on the territory of the United States.

We are also appealing for an immediate withdrawal of Poland from the Terezin Declaration. This legally non-binding document has been used by claims industry as a preparation ground for an extortion of billions of Dollars from Poland.

We are appealing for not succumbing to any pressure from claims organizations and to protect Poland against their future blackmails. As President John Fitzgerald Kennedy once said: “We cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”

We sincerely thank all the Polish-American individuals, politicians, media, businesses and organizations which have been in recent months involved in the Stop Act S. 447 / Act H.R. initiative. We will continue our action! More news to follow soon.