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The intricacies of Poland’s property restitution: Comments on Senator Tammy Baldwin’s recent article

Kudos to Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc) for supporting property restitution in Poland ( One is surprised, however, why she limits herself to seeking redress for Jewish Holocaust victims only. There were others who suffered during the Second World War and its aftermath, including the families of her Christian Polish American constituents, and Wisconsin is chock-full of them. 

Property theft is perennial to conquest. Mass expropriations commenced with the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century and targeted all patriots. In particular, they impacted the Polish nobility who, having resisted in several major uprisings and numerous conspiracies, not only had their estates confiscated but also suffered Siberia as slaves, often along with their entire families. Patriotic commoners fared no differently, their ethno-cultural background notwithstanding, including Jews.

German Nazi and Soviet Communist ravages dwarfed anything experienced prior. They impacted nearly everyone in occupied Poland, elite and non-elite alike. However, they varied in ferocity, timing, and locality.

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