LEGITIMACY OF THE PROPERTY CLAIMS OF EXPELLED GERMANS (Zasadnosc roszczen wysiedlonych Niemców)
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The author documents that there are no legal grounds for property claims by Germans expelled from Poland after the Second World War. Expropriation of the German population was an internal issue of the Polish state. It was justified by the intention of the great powers following from the content of the Potsdam agreements (lack of regulations concerning changes in proprietorship on Poland's Western and Northern Territories was a sign of their intention to leave the above issue to domestic law). The German expellees and their descendants see a chance to regain their former real estate in the negligence of the Polish authorities as the property deeds of some of the so-called former German real estate are still unclear. Germans still figure as owners in real estate registers. Competent organs of Polish state administration should settle this problem legally by effecting appropriate changes in real estate registers so that the present owners could feel secure. The claims of Germans cause the response of Poles, a situation that might only contribute to squandering the legacy of decades of rapprochement and reconciliation between the two nations. It would be a good solution if the German side relinquished all claims against the Polish state and Poland replied with an analogous gesture. The assents of both sides could be an introduction to the process of a definitive settling of the question of war and expulsions. However, debate on the events in the history of Poland and Germany, which are the subject of contention, cannot be limited to a polite exchange of views and diplomatic declarations. What is needed is presentation of the truth about painful experiences in the history of both nations without dismissing historical facts that are compromising for either side. Disclosure of the truth can redress relations between the two nations, but are the society, historians and politicians prepared to undertake such a discussion?
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