In our blog posting back in February 2017, we wrote that the Polish Parliament had adopted a very controversial piece of legislation appointing an ad hoc Parliamentary Commission to review and deal with “reprivatization” decisions in Warsaw.
The term “reprivatization” refers to the real property that had previously been in private hands until the end of WWII, when it was nationalized by the state under the so-called “Bierut decree” (the Decree of October 26, 1945 on the Ownership and Usage of Real Property within boundaries of Warsaw, the “Decree”). After the fall of communism, the former owners, their heirs and those who purchased claims from them (very often called “real estate hunters”), sought to have such nationalization quashed and the property returned to them.
The situation has recently erupted in a large scandal, as the magnitude of the process and methods used by certain real estate hunters has come under intense scrutiny. Several persons engaged in this process have been arrested and members of the Warsaw regional government have been accused of negligence in their safeguarding of public property.