Property restitution

Reclaim properties confiscated or nationalised in Poland by the government after World War II.

Approximately 37 % of the national property was destroyed and millions of Polish citizens lost all they had. Poland’s capital, Warsaw, lost over 10,000 buildings including 25 churches, 14 libraries, 145 schools, as well two universities. The total losses incurred by Poland during the war were estimated in 2004 at USD 55 billion.

Property Restitution in Poland | Information website supervised by the advisory team on property restitution from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Polish Government

Who can reclaim Polish properties?

If you are the rightful owner of a property that was confiscated/nationalised in Poland by the government after World War II, we can help you lodge a compensation claim for the restitution of your property.

The procedure for a compensation claim is quite complex, and the result isn’t always positive, but we have already been successful in many cases.

The claim can be presented by the owners of property that was confiscated/nationalised and by their heirs.

Which properties can be reclaimed?

After the war, the borders of many countries were redrawn and mass nationalisation of private property became a common practice for many people, including:

  • Polish citizens
  • citizens of the former Third Reich
  • citizens of the Free City of Gdańsk
  • people who became Polish citizens after 1st September 1939.

Sometimes the border changes were enacted in breach of national and international laws, and those who lost their properties did not receive any compensation.

In case of confiscation/nationalisation of property owned by people who were citizen of a foreign country, the Polish government paid global damaged not to the owners but directly to the government of those countries.

German property that after the end of World War II was located in Polish territory, was treated by the Polish government as reparation for war-time losses and no damage or compensation was paid to their owners.

How can I reclaim a property that was confiscated?

  • If the property was confiscated/nationalised based on legal ruling, you have to prove that the original ruling for the confiscation of the property should be overturned because of legal defects and then apply for damages from the Reprivatisation Fund administered by the Minister of Treasury. Between 2001 and 2012 the Fund 807 claims were successful and over 3,000 people were awarded a total of PLN 1.05 billion in damages.
  • If the property was confiscated/nationalised without legal ground, you have to lodge a claim with the Polish courts under the Civil Code. During the process, the entries of a land and mortgage register will need to be reconciled with the actual legal status of the property.

What next?

If your property was confiscated/nationalised following the changes of Polish borders post World War II, contact Polaron to discuss your claim for free and with no obligation. We will advise you on your rights and suggest the most appropriate action.

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