'STOP 447' march proceeds through Warsaw

The manifestation “STOP 447” against the controversial act adopted by the US made its way through the streets of Warsaw, the capital city, on Saturday.

The participants marched past the US Embassy.

Robert Bąkiewicz, in charge of organising the manifestation Independence March Association, said: “if the government does not introduce the anti-447 law at its next meeting, this organisation will appoint a Civic Legislative Initiative Committee”.

The representatives of AGROunia also joined the nationalists.

“I will defend Polish soil, so that Polish children will not be homeless,” said its head Michał Kołodziejczyk from the stage.

In May 2018, the US president Donald Trump signed the Act 447 [Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today], concerning the restitution of property of Holocaust victims. The Act obliges the US Department of State to submit to Congress a list of property lost by Jews during WWII, and then to support Jewish organisations in seeking compensation from different countries, including Poland.

In the opinion of nationalist circles, which organised the manifestation, the law will legitimise Jewish organisations to fight for compensation for heirless property, with significant help from “the largest power in the world”.

Nationalists believe that the Polish government is ignoring the problem and that US politicians are pressing harder and harder for Poland to pay money.

In April, the US ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher explained that the controversies caused by Act 447 stem from misinterpretation of the law.

“The Act on Jewish property restitution in post-WWII European countries serves only to prepare a one-off report on the matter,” said the ambassador, adding that “the report is only to inform the US Department of State about what countries have done with regards to property restitution.”

The organisers of the march sympathise with the Confederation movement, which has around 4 percent support in recent polls for the European Parliament elections. Several politicians from this bloc, notably Janusz Korwin-Mikke and Grzegorz Braun delivered speeches from the stage during the manifestation.