Commentary Protests

Nationalists march against the JUST Act 447

Polish nationalists have marched in Warsaw to say “No to Jewish claims” for restitution contained in Law 447 passed by US Congress.

Around 15,000 participants from nationalist groups demonstrated in front of the US Embassy in Warsaw and Chancellery of the PM.

The demonstration was organized by nationalist groupings which are standing for the European Parliament in opposition to the ruling Law and Justice (PiS). The banners at the demo rejected Jewish claims for restoration of pre-war properties. "We love Jews but we won’t tolerate robbery" stated one of the banners. "Stop JUST Act" was another.

The marchers were protesting about legislation (Law 447) passed by Congress which obliges the US administration to monitor progress made in restitution of pre-war Jewish property for Jewish organizations. The legislation has caused a stir in Poland because of the assumption that there should be compensation for Jewish organizations rather than individuals. The protesters called for domestic legislation to block any such claims.

Joachim Brudziński, Poland’s Minister of the Interior reassured Poles that the JUST act does not mean any legal consequences for Poland. He said that Poland would not be paying out a penny in reparations and criticized suggestions to the contrary coming from nationalist sources

Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act was registered as Law 447 and signed by the President of the US in May 2018. It obliges the US government to monitor progress on the implementation of the Teresin Declaration of 2009 in which 46 states committed themselves to ease restitution of property that had been seized during the time of the Holocaust. Law 447 does not envisage any sanctions against the signatories of the declaration.

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