Polish, Jewish groups urge restitution of property seized by Nazis, Communists

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WARSAW, Poland -- The Jewish Claims Conference joined with Polish restitution organizations Wednesday to appeal for the return of private property seized in the country during World War II and under Communist rule.

Representatives of the Jewish conference, who met with Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, hope for legislation similar to a 1997 law that provided for restitution of Jewish communal property, such as synagogues or cemeteries...

Miroslaw Szypowski, the head of an alliance of Polish groups seeking restitution, estimated the value of seized property claimed by owners, or their heirs, was up to $23 billion. About 17 percent of that rightly belongs to Jewish owners or their heirs, Szypowski said.

Some of the property was seized by the Nazis during their wartime occupation of Poland and later taken into public ownership, and some was seized under Communist rule.

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