Holocaust survivor files case against Polish government
Published on Feb 7, 2021
++SHOT 4 IS MUTE++
1. Holocaust survivor Henryk Pikielny at news conference inside European Jewish Congress office
2. Cutaway of Pikielny's lead attorney Yisroel Schulman and other lawyer
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Henryk Pikielny, Holocaust survivor:
"I am trying to achieve, to get back the factory of my grandfather. I am representing the other heirs. There are five of us: my brother, me and three cousins. And we want to get back what belonged to our grandfather and then to our parents."
4. Various of Pikielny photo in 1946 in front of his father's factory as a young man ++MUTE++
5. Holocaust survivor Pikielny at news conference
6. SOUNDBITE: (English) Henryk Pikielny, Holocaust survivor:
"It has been almost 15 years that I am struggling and trying to obtain this and I think it is important. It is important for me. It is important for my children, my grandchildren. They should know where it all comes from and this is not only a question of money, it is also very much a moral question."
7. Cutaway of media
8. SOUNDBITE: (English) Yisroel Schulman, Lead Attorney for Henryk Pikielny and Executive Director of New York Legal Assistance Group:
"The case was filed today in the European Court of Human Rights and Poland will have the opportunity to respond. We've asked the European Court to direct Poland to enter what is called 'friendly settlement' which actually is a settlement negotiation to try and arrive at a solution to the overall situation of thousands of individuals who illegally lost their property. Should Poland not arrive at a friendly settlement, then we've asked the court to actually order Poland to enact legislation to provide for compensation."
9. Cutaway of reporter's notepad
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) Yisroel Schulman, Lead Attorney for Henryk Pikielny and Executive Director of New York Legal Assistance Group:
"There were 3.2 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were of Polish descent and living in Poland at the time of the war. Hundreds of thousands of those individuals owned property, owned houses, factories, farms. This case, the Pikielny case, is brought on behalf of all of these individuals and we hope that the Polish government will be directed by the European Court of Human Rights to provide for compensation for all of these individuals as well as the non-Jewish individuals in Poland who had their property confiscated by the Communist governments both during and subsequent to the war."
11. Holocaust survivor Henryk Pikielny at news conference
Lawyers for Holocaust survivor Henryk Pikielny and his family announced in Paris on Wednesday that they were suing the Polish government in the European Court of Human Rights for the restitution of his grandparent's manufacturing company, initially confiscated by the Nazis and then nationalised by the communist regime.
Lawyers who filed the case said they want the European Court of Human Rights to oblige the Polish government to enter a friendly financial settlement with thousands of people who they claim illegally lost their property.
If Poland does not agree to a financial settlement, the lawyers have asked the European Court to enact legislation to provide for that compensation.
More than three million Jewish victims of the Holocaust were of Polish descent or living in Poland at the time, and hundreds of thousands of them owned land, farms and factories.
Poland has never addressed the issue of their restitution.
After Poland's Communist government fell in 1990, the Pikielny family resumed its quest to reclaim their property.
Twelve years of appeals and litigation in Poland failed to prompt the Polish government to provide compensation for their confiscated property.
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