Who cares if it was their fault?
Posted by aogTuesday, 22 June 2004 at 20:45 TrackBack Ping URL

Just when I thought pan-European courts couldn’t get any sillier, we have this:

Poland must pay compensation to a man whose family was forced from its home after World War II, a European court has ruled.

The European Court of Human Rights said 60-year-old Jerzy Broniowski should be paid 12,000 euros (£8,000).

Mr Broniowski’s grandmother lost her home after the war when Poland’s border shifted westwards.

In its ruling, the Strasbourg-based court said Poland had violated the European Convention of Human Rights.

The first question that springs to mind is why is Poland responsible for paying compensation? It’s not like Churchill, FDR and FDR’s buddy Uncle Joe Stalin consulted any Poles when they decided to shift the entire country west by a few hundred kilometers. I presume it’s primarily because Poland is just entering the European Union and looks like an easy mark. It seems like it would be more reasonable to send the bill to the USSR - oh, woops, they went bankrupt and folded. Such are the hazards of trying to right historical wrongs on an individual basis. Hopefullt this decision will carry all of the legal weight and significance that other pan-European court decisions have.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
european (non-native english-speaker) Friday, 25 June 2004 at 04:53

Well, actually there was a treaty between the the Ukrainian Republic, the Belorussian Republic and the Lithuanian SSR and also between the USSR and the polish temporary government of national unity(which later took over in Warsaw) in which Poland agreed to compensate for the losses of property of their nationals in the territories Poland lost in the East. The State itself was compensated by being given the former (eastern) german territories, which became West Poland. The polish government never paid (due compensation) for the loss of property of their nationals and tried to play on time for the last 6 years (when the case was submitted to the European Court of Human Rights). I for my part hope, that this ruling will be followed by the state of Poland.

End of Discussion