Monday, 31 August 2015

Nazi Gold Train Jewish Claims

The possible discovery of a Nazi train filled with Holocaust- era plunder is only a drop in the bucket compared to the vast amounts of art, money and jewels still missing 70 years after the end of the war, Israel historian Dr. Gideon Greif told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday (Sam Sokol, 'Lost Nazi train is merely a sliver of theft ‘beyond imagination,’ says historian' Jerusalem Post 31st August 2015).
Polish authorities last week all but confirmed the discovery of the train, which has long been believed to contain millions of dollars worth of Nazi loot. On Friday, Polish Deputy Culture Minister Piotr Zuchowski announced he has seen a ground-penetrating radar image indicating that the train, which two unidentified individuals claimed to locate earlier this month, likely exists. The train is believed to be one that reportedly disappeared in 1945 loaded with gold, gems, art and guns bound for Berlin, one of several trains the Nazis used in an attempt to save their war plunder from the advancing Allies. According to local lore, the train vanished after entering a network of tunnels under the Owl Mountains. Almost immediately the World Jewish Congress issued a statement calling on Poland to restitute any stolen property discovered aboard the train. “To the extent that any items now being discovered in Poland may have been stolen from Jews before they were sent to death, concentration or forced labor camps, it is essential that every measure is taken to return the property to its rightful owners or to their heirs. We very much hope that the Polish authorities will take the appropriate action in that respect,” WJC CEO Robert Singer said Friday.
Hmmm. Firstly, the Conservator General had no right to make such an announcement [UPDATE he soon after lost his post], secondly the train is a myth, and thirdly - what does Mr Singer thinks entitles him to address the Poles in such tones before the train is even uncovered? He even has demands for what should happen to items which do not have an identifiable owner (so, in which case how is it established they were stolen in the first place? It is not as if the Nazis stole only from Jews)
“If no such survivors or heirs can be found, any gold or other property that is found to have belonged to Jewish families or businesses must now inure to the benefit of Polish Jewish survivors who unfortunately have never been adequately compensated by Poland for the unspeakable suffering they endured and their catastrophic economic losses in the Holocaust.” 
But Mr Singer it was the GERMAN OCCUPIER (umm, there was a War on, you know?) of Poland that caused this, not the current Polish government or people, for goodness' sake. Who should pay the compensation for events that happened when the country was under German administration? 
Speaking to the Post, Greif said [...] he was almost one hundred percent positive that the train was carrying plunder rather than ammunition and that by hiding it in an underground tunnel, the Nazis were engaged in a “very desperate attempt to save all this looted property at the last minute.” “It’s a part of the big issue of the wealth that Nazi Germany looted and which is in still in hands which it shouldn’t be in,” he continued, calling the train a good example of the vast amounts of property, including art, still waiting to be returned to their rightful owners. “It’s billions of billions of billions,” he said. “It’s beyond any imagination.”
Well, the historian may tax his imagination, but the story of the "Nazi gold trains" has it that the valuables on board of this trasport at the very end of the War were the reserves of the Wrocław (Breslau) Bank and the wealth of the local townspeople deposited there for safe keeping. Items seized from Jews between 1933-1942 were probably not on that train. Mr Singer, keep your loud demands for when the material turns up and then provide your documentation like everybody else.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Polish President Refusess To Accept Law Limiting Warsaw Restitution Claims

'WJRO Welcomes Polish President’s Refusal To Sign Law Limiting Warsaw Restitution Claims' August 4, 2015
The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) welcomed the decision last night by President Bronisław Komorowski of Poland not to sign legislation that would limit the ability of Holocaust survivors, their families, and other rightful owners to recover property in Warsaw they claimed after the Second World War. President Komorowski referred the legislation to the Constitutional Tribunal to review whether the provisions limiting restitution violate the Constitution. “We welcome the decision of the president to refer this unjust legislation to the Constitutional Court,” said Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations. “This legislation restricts claimants – whether Jewish or not – from recovering property that was wrongly taken from them.”
Two days later (6 August 2015) Andrzej Duda, an ally of Jarosław Kaczyński\s PiS party, replaced Komorowski and quickly became involved in the 2015 Polish constitutional crisis which froze the Constitutional Tribunal making it possible to pass whatever laws the PiS government pleases. Duda's wife is from a Jewish family.