Poland: Holocaust

(asked on 30th June 2022) - View Source

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, during their chairmanship of the 2024 International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, to call on Poland (1) to honour its commitment to the democratic principle of property rights, and (2) to resolve the claims of those whose property was stolen in Poland during the Holocaust.

Answered by
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
This question was answered on 14th July 2022

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an important intergovernmental organisation uniting governments and experts to strengthen Holocaust remembrance. The UK is still considering the focus of its chairmanship in 2024. IHRA's remit does not include property restitution.

The UK continues to meet its commitments under the Terezín declaration. The UK has raised concerns with the Polish Government about legislation introduced last year on property restitution. The UK's Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Lord Pickles, has followed developments closely and, through the British Embassy in Warsaw, we have been acting in consultation with our likeminded partners to engage with the Polish Government. Following the passage of the legislation, which the UK Government judges will have a negative effect on legitimate claimants, the then Minister for Europe (Wendy Morton) publicly expressed her disappointment and called for legal avenues for claims to remain open. Lord Pickles will chair a discussion on restitution at the Terezín Declaration Conference on the 3rd of November 2022. Working with like-minded partners and the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO), FCDO will continue to urge Poland to fairly, objectively and sensitively deal with Holocaust-era property restitution.

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