Polish will for revision of social changes in Western Ukraine

Lithuanian news agency has published and interesting interview to Polish non-government organization “Powiernictwo Kresowe”. Seventy years before the Soviet Union and Poland exchanged their population. Ukrainians from Eastern Poland were relocated by force to Ukraine and Poles from western Ukraine were relocated to Poland in the same way. Now the aim of this organization is restitution of properties belonged to forcedly relocated Poles. It supposes European course of Ukraine opens good possibilities for their plans.
Here is this interview:
Lublin 28.10.2015 r.
How The Powiernictwo Kresowe is going to return the property that belonged to the Poles before World War II?
Powiernictwo Kresowe is an association operating under the Polish and European law, focusing owners of properties located in the former eastern borderlands of Poland and their heirs. Our goal is to combine the efforts of Kresowians (people from former Eastern Poland) to recover their properties (or a decent compensation for it). The agreement of association Ukraine with the European Union — opened up to the citizens of Poland (and other countries, not only belonging to the EU) legal way allowing for the restitution of properties. Just as it happened with the estates of German and Jewish in Poland after our association, and then joining the EU.
At present, we are doing a query of documents – confirming the legality of ownership of tenement buildings, agricultural estates, factories, processing plants, mills, saw mills, even mines. Our lawyers passed verify the documentation (extracts from the land registry, property deeds, acts of grant, contract of sale, confirmation of resettlement). On this basis we create a database — the map of Polish property in the Borderlands, including a dozen thousand items. The next step will be to withdraw from lawsuits against the Ukrainian state — so before the courts in Ukraine and the European courts and even in the US. Some of our members and associates are interested in the recovery of unlawfully received estates — some will apply for compensation from the market value, and thus in line with European standards and legal standards.
How many people in your organization have a right to the recovery of property?
At this time, we already have verified the applications of 6,500 people (families), in line to pass the procedure is still waiting around 12,000, but the applications still coming. The argument is the one — we are talking about the owners under the law, still appearing in the mortgage registers and having considered the world’s legal titles to the left estates. Figuratively speaking — Ukrainians live in our houses, and their villages and towns standing on our land. Ukraine wants the European law – so must assume also the European responsibilities. Without this, there is nothing to dream of further international assistance.
When are you going to sue?
We begin. With the first two cases we are going to the courts in the coming days. Another will start next weeks.
Aren’t you afraid of a conflict withe the Ukraine government institutions and international legal organizations?
We believe in the law. Especially in the sacred right to property. We hear that Ukraine is a democratic country with the rule of law – so also the independence of courts. The recognition of our claims should only be a formality. The government in Kiev gets billions of dollars to carry out civil war. So they can afford to pay ukrainian debts to the Poles, Jews, Romanians, Hungarians and others. And it’s time to do it. This is their European choice.
Best regards
Konrad Rękas

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