Earlier this month, the Polish president signed into law a bill that makes it impossible for Jews to pursue claims to property stolen during and immediately after World War II. Ben Cohen sums up a recent discussion of the issue among four prominent Polish historians:
[T]he real purpose of the recent reform to the Code of Administrative Procedure—as well as the [law that] allows for civil prosecutions of historians who research . . . Polish collusion with the Nazis—was to help transform the Holocaust from a Jewish trauma into a Polish one. The success of that narrative . . . depends in large part on excluding from historical inquiry the topic of the collusion of elements of the population in Poland, a country with a long history of anti-Semitic agitation, with the Nazi persecution of the Jews.
One of the leading Polish scholars of World War II, Jan Gross, added:
[The defense of the new law] one hears from the right-wing nationalists [is] that the Jews are trying to seize property. This is presented as the expropriation of the Poles, and it becomes a major scandal. At the same time, the Polish government is demanding restitution from the Germans for damages incurred during the Nazi occupation, which they estimate at $850 billion. When this issue is brought up, you hear that the number of Poles killed [in World War II] was six million—that number is not a coincidence. However, the real number is under five million, and that is when we include the three million Polish Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
So the potential scandal which is on the verge of unfolding is when the Jewish community, which rightly considers itself to have been robbed, learns that the Polish regime intends to request compensation from Germany for Jewish property that was destroyed during the war.