Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2006

In Osteuropa 1-2/2006

Reason, Unreason and Claims
Restitution Policy in Poland

Nawojka Cieślińska-Lobkowicz

Deutsche Fassung


The end of the East-West conflict seemed to open possibilities for Poland to settle its restitution issues. That proved to be an illusion. Tangible results are rare. That applies to demands made of Ukraine and Russia for the return of cultural artefacts as well as the dispute over the Dürer drawings from the Ossolineum. German-Polish negotiations have yielded no success. Relations are characterised by a bizarre paradox. In spite of the enormous Polish losses due to the war and German occupation, Germany’s concrete demands on Poland are quantitatively and qualitatively greater than those of Poland on Germany. Both sides insist on their conflicting legal positions. Furthermore, restitution policy lacks transparency and free flow of information. This in turn limits the public control of bureaucratic behaviour. That in turn does not make it any easier to find a solution.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2006, pp. 263–286)