AAARGH

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July 1999

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WAR ON POLAND

Will this fraud based lawsuit be a prelude to the next NATO perpetrated genocide ?

Quote: "UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT,

EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Civil Action No. CV 99-3487

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Law Offices [for the Plaintiffs] of:

Mel Urbach (MU-5690)

One Exchange Place Suite 1000 Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

Tel: 201-395-4709

and

Edward E. Klein (EK-8587) 275 Madison Ave., 11th Floor

New York, New York 10016

Tel: 212-661-9400

Plaintiffs:

Theo Garb, Bella Youngewirth, Sam Lefkowitz, Peter Koppenheim, Judah Weller, Chana Lewkowicz, Samuel Goldin, Karl Diamond, Hala Sobol, Saul Klausner, and Goldie Knobel.

On behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.

vs: -

Defendants:

Republic of Poland, Ministry of the Treasury of Poland (Ministerstwo Skarbu Panstwa) and John Does # 1-100.

COMPLAINT

 

Plaintiffs, above named and all others similarly situated, by their undersigned attorneys, as and for their complaint, allege as follows:

 

OVERVIEW OF THE CLAIMS

 

1. This is an action brought by eleven individual plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1330 et. seq. and 1602 et seq. ("Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act") and all other federal and state statutory and common laws against the Republic of Poland, hereinafter referred to at times as "Poland", the Ministry of the Treasury of Poland (Ministerstwo Skarb [sic] Panstwa), hereinafter at times referred to as the "Treasury" or "Skarb", and defendants John Does 1-100, who are foreign governments and/or private bodies and/or individuals, referred to at times as "other Defendant's [sic], the identity's [sic] of which are unknown at this time, that participated in the common scheme alleged herein.

2. The scheme, which has continued during the last fifty four years, involved the forced, coerced "expulsion to extinction" of the Jewish people from Poland through ethnic and racial cleansing, through the use of violence and the threat of violence, including torture and death. Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] did commercially occupy, benefit, manage, rent, improve, retain, and eventually foreclose and take illegal title to the assets, including the real property, of all the expunged Jewish people in Poland under the pretence [sic] that such assets were abandoned. All of the defendants have profited and continue to profit from this scheme at the expense of aging and dying Holocaust survivors.

3. Plaintiffs are victims and survivors (or their heirs) of the Nazi Holocaust. Plaintiffs, as a class, have been denied management rights, ownership, control, use and enjoyment of their real and personal property since their initial dispossession during the Holocaust. After World War II, these Holocaust survivors were murdered, beaten, raped, terrorized, tortured and forced to abandon any attempt to retrieve their property or to manage it. This was due to a common scheme of ethnic and racial cleansing that continued in Poland after the Holocaust, which was designed to remove the remaining surviving 10% of the Polish Jewish survivor community from Poland.

4. The notion of profiting from racial and ethnic extermination was practiced by the Nazis [sic] Regime before and during World War II. The Nazis deliberately and systematically looted and plundered Jewish owned assets, thereby enriching themselves and providing the necessary financial means by which to commit and perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity.

5. Germany took advantage of the anti-Semitic climate in Poland by locating the most notorious death camps there, including Auschwitz and Treblinka. Jewish men, women and children from all over Europe were murdered and tortured to death at these and other concentration camps in Poland.

6. When the Nazis retreated from Poland, individual Polish citizens, Skarb, the Polish Government and other Defendant's [sic] sought to capitalize on the misfortune of Poland's Jews, by perpetuating the Nazi scheme of racial cleansing, and deriving profits there from, by moving into and taking possession of Jewish property for commercial purposes.

7. To force the Jews to flee Poland and abandon their assets and property rights, a murderous plan of anti-Semitic racial and ethnic cleansing was initiated in Poland against returning Jews, who had survived the Holocaust. Upon returning to their homeland in Poland, thousands of Jews were threatened and then savagely beaten and/or murdered in their former homes, villages and cities. This culminated in a mass exodus of the majority of Polish Jewish survivors from Poland. It is estimated that over 60,000 Jews fled Poland between July and September of 1946, as a direct result of the Kielce pogrom and the heinous campaign of violence against Polish Jews. Many others were afraid to return to Poland, abandoning any hopes they may have had to recover their assets and property.

8. The Defendant's [sic] in this case were thereby able to benefit and continue to benefit from the scheme of ethnic and racial cleansing against Polish Jews. They secured possession of substantially all the assets of Poland's three million Jews, including valuable real estate holdings, machinery, personal belongings, furniture, currency, insurance policy's, bonds, stocks, gold coins, jewelry, diamonds, ceremonial religious items, and other assets. In the following years and decades, the Defendants illegally attempted to and did secure ownership of these assets, by changing the recorded documents of title and ownership, all of which was done with the acquiescence of Poland and Skarb.

9. During the implementation of this scheme of racial and ethnic cleansing, the Jews in Poland suffered systematic human rights violations including, among other things, beatings, threats of violence, looting, torture, rape and murder.

10. Prior to 1939, Polish Jews made up over 20% of the world Jewish population. From 1939 to 1948 Poland's Jewish community of over 3 million had almost vanished. Those few who remained, hid their Jewish identity or changed their religion to avoid persecution. While the Nazi Regime was responsible for much of the destruction wrought on the Jews in Poland, it was the conduct of the Polish Government and the other Defendant's [sic] that divested the Plaintiffs of their property and their rights with respect to such property.

11. Hundreds of towns across Poland witnessed the influx of Jewish survivors after World War II. Polish citizens, that had been hunted for five years by the Nazis, now returned home, with nowhere else to go. In many towns and cities, Jews had not been seen for years. Rather than treating the returning Jews as displaced refugees, the Defendant's [sic] dissuaded the Jews from returning to their homeland and homes, through heinous acts of violence and murder. The Defendants perpetuated the Nazi scheme of "Juden Rein" on their own people, ridding their countryside of Jews. The Defendants were thereby able to seize and commercially profit from Jewish assets and property.

12. The expunging of Jews from Poland and the seizing of their assets and property was only accomplished through the complicity of the Polish government [sic], including Polish police and army forces. Through State sponsored terrorism, the Polish people initiated and participated in attacks against returning Jews. In smaller towns, Jews were lynched and either strangled, shot or stabbed to death. Public hangings of Jews were reported in the press, terrifying those who remained in Poland and those intending or attempting to return. Based on information and belief, these attacks were part of a systematic scheme to wipe out all traces of the Jewish race in Poland after World War II.

13. The Defendant's [sic] were motivated not only by hate, but also by greed. Once the Jews were expunged from Poland, the Defendants seized control of Jewish assets and property, asserting ownership of the property, and managing the property for profit.

14. At the conclusion of World War II, and ignoring the legal consequences of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and racial cleansing, the Polish Government and the Defendant's [sic] permitted these atrocities against Jews in Poland to continue unchecked for several years, until the Jews resigned into surrender through attrition, leaving Poland and their property behind.

15. Rather than hold and manage the property for the benefit of Jewish survivors and their heirs, Defendants sought through murder, fear and physical violence to deprive Holocaust victims of their assets and property.

Thus developed a common scheme in Poland, perpetrated by threats, violence, torture, rape and death, which resulted in the forced expulsion and the almost entire depletion of the Jewish people from Poland.

16. Since the Holocaust, Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] have engaged in an ongoing pattern of deceit designed to prevent, delay, frustrate and block members of the class from uncovering the truth about their ownership of, and rights to use and enjoy their property remaining in Poland. This pattern of deceit perpetrated by the Defendants was designed to prevent members of the class from reclaiming and accurately determining the total quantity and value of the real estate and other assets wrongfully taken from them.

17. In response to queries from class members, Defendants have used standard response such as: The property was abandoned voluntarily; the property had been confiscated legally; the property was destroyed; documents could not be found; large tax bill were due on claimed property; or claimants were told to return to Poland to assert claims. During this time the Defendant's [sic] were commercially operating and deriving substantial profits from Holocaust victims' assets.

18. As a result of Defendants [sic] continuing conduct, for a period of over fifty-four years, Defendants have commercially managed, retained, and profitted [sic] fom illegally-obtained assets belonging to members of the class, for which Defendants have no legal basis to own, control, manage, retain or receive profits.

19. Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] have initiated and continued a process of illegally developing, renting, selling and/or permitting the sales or transferring of assets and property belonging to class members, further frustrating aging survivors and their heirs from recovering their property. Poland is now offering for sale, in the United States and elsewhere, assets of Holocaust survivors, including residential and commercial properties, that rightfully belong to members of the class.

20. Plaintiffs seek to enjoin Poland, Skarb and the other Defendants from further selling, wasting, disposing or allowing the sale or disposal or transfer of property belonging to members of the class.

21. Plaintiffs also seek (i) an accounting and disgorgement by Poland, Skarb and the other Defendants of the assets and property improperly handled, retained or sold in violation of the class members rights and entitlements, (ii) an accounting and disgorgement of the profits made on those assets, and (iii) compensatory and punitive damages to discourage such conduct in the future.

 

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

 

22. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1330, as this action is against a foreign state; 28 U.S.C. 1331, as this case concerns the Constitution, laws and/or treaties of the United States; 28 U.S.C. 1332, as this case involves citizens of the United States, as plaintiffs, and citizens or subjects of a foreign state, as defendants, and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs; 28 U.S.C. 1350, as this case concerns an action by certain aliens for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the united States; 28 U.S.C. 1367, the supplemental jurisdiction of this Court; and 28 U.S.C. 1605 (a), as an exception to immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391."

23. Theo Garb ("Theo"), was born in Manchester, England. He is a U.S. citizen and lives on Long Island, New York. His late mother, Ruchla Rosenstrauch-Garbarz ("Ruchla"), was born in Warsaw and lived there until 1924, when she moved to Belgium and then to England. In 1931, she moved to Dublin, Ireland, where her husband took up the position as a cantor in the main synagogue. In Poland, Ruchla shared the ownership of a large apartment building in the Praga district of Warsaw with her other siblings, who remained in Poland. The address of the building was 45 Targowa Street, Warsaw, Poland. [See picture in Exhibit A] Ruchla received regular rental income payments in Dublin from her share of the property on Targowa Street. The payments came from Poland through a bank in England. Her family in Warsaw were wealthy before World War II. When the Holocaust began, these rental payments suddenly stopped. Remarkably the property survived the war intact. Some of the other relatives who shared ownership in the property died or were killed during the Holocaust.

24. Following the Holocaust, Theo's mother and father went to Belgium to inquire about their family. Ruchla discovered that most of her family was deported to the Treblinka concentration camp in 1942, and murdered by the Nazis. Theo's parents were warned not to enter Poland because of the violent atmosphere against the returning Jews. Ruchla heeded this advice and returned to Dublin. She told her son Theo to remember the address and Hipotek 174C, a reference to the deeds in Poland. She told him that one day things will return to normal and he should go back and reclaim the family apartment building on Targowa Street.

25. Ruchla died seventeen years ago. Theo has been haunted by her words ever since. He tried to recover the property, but without success. He has been frustrated over the years in his ongoing attempts. He eventually traveled to Poland, where he did manage to gain access to the archives. Unfortunately, the archivist was only willing to show him the old ledgers, and would not allow him to make copies of the most recent documents, which would show present ownership of his family's property. Theo protested this continued concealment of documents, but to no avail. He does not speak Polish, but nevertheless could read his mothers [sic] name on some of the documents.

26. While in Poland, Theo visited the apartment building on Targowa Street, and noted that it appeared to be fully rented, with commercial stores on the ground floor. Neither Theo nor any other member of his family has ever received any compensation for the unlawful taking of his families [sic] property.

27. Bella Jungewirth (nee Neustadt) ("Bella") is a U.S. citizen and lives in New York. She was born in Poland on March 17, 1920. Her father was a cantor in the synagogue on Rabna Maizelsa Street, in Krakow, Poland. She had four brothers and two sisters. In 1939 the Germans invaded Poland and within a short period reached Krakow. Bella was forced into slave labor by the Nazis, and had to wear a yellow star of David on her outer garment. In 1942, the Nazis charged through the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow, where Bella lived, shouting "Juden Araus" ("Jews get out"). Polish youth helped the Nazis pinpoint Jewish homes. When the Nazis reached Bella's house at Ulica Szeroka 13, everybody was ordered out. [See picture in Exhibit B]

28. Bella's mother was ill, suffering with biliary pancreatitis and peripheral vascular desease, which prevented her from getting out of bed. The Nazis entered her bedroom and shot her dead. She was 46 years of age. The rest of Bella's family were taken to the market square, then the train station and eventually to the Auschwitz concentration camp, transported there in cattle cars.

29. Bella survived the concentration camps as the sole survivor of her entire family. She returned to Krakow in 1945 to take possession of her parents' house. To her surprise, it was occupied by a Polish woman who claimed to be paying rent to the Treasury. Bella was threatened with death if she tried to regain possession of her property, and recalls that several Jewish survivors were murdered in Krakow. After living in mortal fear, and having received multiple death threats, Bella fled Poland. She has tried to reclaim her property, but has been unsuccessful. Records recently uncovered in the archives in Poland confirm the Neustadt family did own the property. Based on information and belief, following the Holocaust, Skarb (The Polish Treasury) registered itself as the owner of Bella's property, managed the property, and sold it in 1957 without providing her with any notice or opportunity to reclaim the property or the ability to receive any form of compensation.

30. Sam Lefkowitz ("Sam") is a U.S. citizen and lives in Florida. he was born on June 13, 1916 in Czestochowa, Poland. Sam's father, Jacob Lefkowitz, was a wealthy businessman. He owned a large leather export business and several parcels of real estate, including a thirty-two (32) family house, located at 9 Ulica Warshawska [sic] in Czestochowa, Poland.

31. In 1939, the Nazis invaded Czestochowa on a Friday night. On Saturday morning, Sam and his family could not attend the synagogue, because of the turmoil in town. The situation deteriorated from month to month. After Yom Kippur in 1942, the Nazis came to the house demanding jewels, gold and diamonds, and promising safe keeping for those who cooperated. Sam's family turned over some of their valuables, but hid other assets in the house, hoping to return.

32. Most of the Jews of Czestochowa were sent to the Treblinka concentration camp, where they were executed by the Nazi's [sic] and their collaborators. Sam was put to work as a forced laborer. He managed to escape to a small village where he paid a Polish farmer to allow him to live in a horses [sic] stable. In late 1944, he was liberated by the Russians.

33. Sam returned to his home in Czestochowa. The superintendent who had worked for his father for twenty-five years had taken control of the building. When Sam knocked on the front door he was asked "are you still alive?" in a threatening tone. Sam learned that other Jewish survivors were attacked in Czestochowa, some seriously. After receiving several threats himself, Sam realized that his life was in danger and fled Poland.

34. Sam tried to retain a lawyer in order to recover his father's property in Czestochowa, but was unsuccessful. He was afraid to return to Poland. He has been tormented all his life because of the violence and threats he witnessed in Poland after the War.

35. Peter Koppenheim ("Peter") is a British citizen and lives in Manchester, England. He left Germany in 1939. His grandfather was Meyer Koppenheim who owned a magnificent five story house on Ring 7, in Bresslau, now a part of Poland, as well as several other buildings in the same city. [See picture in Exhibit C]

36. In 1939, the Koppenheim house was seized by the Nazis, and purchased by a Nazi sympathizer. Peter's father refused to believe that his fellow countrymen in Germany would actually allow the Nazis to carry out the blatant anti-Semitism envisioned by Adolf Hitler, and so he chose to stay in Germany. He remained in the ghetto and died in 1940.

37. After the War, Breslau was turned over to Poland. All German assets came under the control of Skarb and/or the other Defendant's [sic]. Peter's family were terrified at the prospect of returning to Poland to make property claims, because of the wave of terror and brutal violence that was being unleashed against the Jews after the War. Peter retained lawyers in Germany to reclaim his property in the 1990's [sic] but, over his objection, Skarb, the Polish Government, and the other Defendant's [sic] permitted the grandchildren of the former Nazi occupant to sell the property to the German Thyssen company (part of the Krupp Group) for several million Deutsch Mark [sic]. Peter has not received any compensation for his family's property.

38. Judah Weller ("Judah") is a U.S. citizen and resides in Queens, New York. His late father was a Holocaust survivor from Poland, who married and lived in Kaluszyn, Poland, before the War. The family owned and ran a store at 8 Warsaw [sic] Street, Kaluszyn, Poland. Fearing the dangers of the Nazis, Judah's father, Sruel Eizik Weller, joined his brother in Brazil, where he hoped to bring the rest of his family just before the invasion of Poland. On September 1, 1939, the Nazis entered Poland, trapping Judah's family. It was not until 1945 that Judah's father learned that his wife and children had been murdered by the Nazis in 1942. He left Brazil, became a U.S. citizen, remarried and had a family. He never escaped the mental torture of knowing that his family had been murdered and that he had failed to rescue them in time.

39. Judah's father was afraid to return to Poland to reclaim his property, because of the dangers that Jews faced in Poland. In the 1960's [sic], Judah's father applied to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission seeking compensation for the property confiscated by the Nazis. His application was declined. He died in 1973. In 1999, Judah initiated an investigation into the property in Kaluszyn. Eventually, records were uncovered showing that Judah's first wife purportedly sold the property in 1950, eight years after she was murdered by the Nazis. Based on information and belief, Judah believes that the Defendants were part of a common plan and scheme to deprive his family of their property. The Defendant's [sic] had known or should have known that his step-mother had been murdered, since the Municipal Administration of Kaluszyn issue [sic] a letter dated 22 October 1945, signed by the Mayor stating: The Municipal Administration in Kaluszyn notifies citizen Weller S. - E., that his family was destroyed (annihilated) in the year 1942 by the Germans, namely his wife and children were shot dead together with the parents Kiferbaum, while the younger Kiferbaums were taken to labor camps for forced labor, of unknown destination. [See Translation in Exhibit D.]

40. Judah has not received any compensation for his family's property in Poland. Based on information and belief, Skarb and the other Defendant's {sic] have deprived him and his family of their ownership rights in the property, and continue to benefit and profit from this illegally obtained asset." .

41. Chana Lewkowicz ("Chana") is a U.S. citizen living in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents owned a parcel of property on Rynek Glowny 14 in the city of Oswiecim, Poland, more commonly known as Auschwitz. [See picture in Exhibit E] During the Nazi occupation of Poland, her parents were evicted from the house and the Nazis turned it into a court. During the war, Chana was sent to various concentration camps where she was forced to work as a slave laborer. After the war, she returned to her home, whereupon she was threatened. She fled to Germany. The Polish Treasury took the property and has refused to return it to Chana. The building is still used as a court house. Chana has not received any compensation to date for this property. Her parents also owned other property, but she has been unable to find the pertinent records.

42. Samuel Goldin ("Samuel") is a U.S. citizen and lives in Binghampton, New York. He was born in 1916 in Niezwiez, Poland. In 1926, Samuel's family moved to Warsaw, where they lived at 4 Karnielicka [sic] Street.

43. In the late 1920's [sic], Samuel's father purchased a property located at 120 Radzyminska Street in Warsaw. There he established a lumber and parquet company, employing over fifty people. The business, called Tartak Radzyminski, was owned by Mr. Jacob Sadowski and Samuel's father, Mowsza Goldin. The property consisted of a large tract of land with railroad tracks for four rail cars, a large factory and an office building. Samuel's father was wealthy, and owned a new Ford motor car. Samuel attended a Jewish Hebrew High School, located on Plac Krasinka [sic] called Gymnasium Chinuch. He had two sisters, one older and one younger, both of whom survived the War.

44. With the increase of anti-Semitism in Poland (and elsewhere) in the late 1930's [sic], attacks and beatings were unleashed against the Jewish community in Warsaw. Samuel left Warsaw in the fall of 1937 to attend the university of Strasbourg to study chemical engineering. In the fall of 1938, he transferred to the Sorbonne in Paris, France. In June 1940, Samuel fled Paris on a bicycle two days before the Nazis arrived. Eventually, he made his way to the United States in September 1941, via Spain and Portugal. His parents remained in Warsaw and were later killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

45. After the War, Samuel learned from other Jewish survivors that the Nazis took control of his father's factory as soon as they entered Warsaw.

46. Samuel placed an advertisement in several newspapers in Poland, announcing that he had survived the War. He was too scared to return to Poland, himself, because of anti-Semitism. He has tried to regain his father's property, but without any success. The most recent property records he was able to obtain, from 1996, show that Skarb and the Polish Treasury are the owners of the factory, and continue to run the business up to the present day.

47. Karl Diamond ("Karl") is a U.S. citizen and a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. He was born and raised in Tarnow, Poland, approximately forty miles East of Krakow. Before the War, Karl had four sisters and one brother. His family owned a pickling business and a store. They were known for their charitable endeavors to help the less fortunate. The family owned a vast forest which was lumbered once a year. His oldest sister was an accountant, his second sister was a student in Vienna, Austria, his third sister studied mathematics at the University in Warsaw, and his fourth sister helped manage the grocery store in Tarnow. Karl was a student at the Raush Business College. His younger brother was a Talmudic student.

48. The forest land was owned by Karl's father and uncle, and consisted of approximately 240 acres in Stepina near Frystak (Powiat Strzyzow), Poland. On June 12, 1942, Karl's family, along with the other Jewish inhabitants of Tarnow, were evicted under the pretext of "re-settlement" by the Nazis. Most were taken to the Belzec concentration camp, where over 12,000 Jews from Tarnow were murdered. Another 3,000 Jews were murdered in the Jewish cemetery in Tarnow. The remaining Jews were eventually executed.

49. Karl was sent to the Plaszow slave labor camp, where he remained until he was liberated by the Russians in 1945.

50. Upon being liberated, Karl discovered that anti-Semitism was rampant among the Polish people and that many of the Polish people were disappointed that Jews had survived the Holocaust.

51. Karl retained lawyers in Poland and Israel over the last several decades to recover his family's assets and property. He learned that his father's real estate was taken by Skarb after the War, but has been unable to reclaim any of it. The Defendants have resisted his ongoing efforts to recover his family's property.

52. Hala Sobol ("Hala") is a U.S. citizen and resides in Ohio. She was born in Poland in 1924, one of two daughters, to Nachman and Sabina Lieblich, nee Sellinger. Hala grew up in Krakow, Poland. Her father was a diamond cutter, making a good living and often traveling on business.

53. During the war, most of Hala's family were transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they were murdered by the Nazi's [sic] and their collaborators. Mottel Horn, her uncle, was included in the transportation. He owned a large building on a property fronting on two main streets in downtown Krakow, Poland. [See portion of Archive included in Exhibit F]

54. Recent access to the archives in Poland show that this property was confiscated from the family and subdivided after the War. A bank had been allowed to register itself as the owner of part of the property that Hala and her family should have inherited. One side of the property is located on ul. Bozego Ciala 23, and the other side on ul. Krakowska 26. Her uncle, Motel Horn, also owned a villa in Rabka, ul. Poniatowskiego 185. Recent access to the archives confirmed that Motel Horn purchased the property in 1930. Hala's grandparents owned two houses in Kshanow [sic], ul. Malarinik 3. Recent research shows that this building is no longer standing, having been removed and demolished by Skarb.

55. Hala's aunt and uncle, who owned several of the family's properties, are deceased and had no children. All of Hala's other relatives in the family were murdered during the Holocaust, leaving Hala and her sister as the only survivors of her entire family. Hala [sic] sister died three years ago, and is survived by one daughter in London.

56. Hala was liberated by the British army at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. Her physical and mental condition was extremely poor after the liberation - having spent five years under Nazi occupation. She wanted to return to Poland to reclaim her family's property, but was warned of the dangerous situation and the wave of anti-Semitism that was being unleashed against the returning Jewish survivors. Hala and her family have not received any compensation for the property that was confiscated by the Defendant's [sic].

57. Saul Klausner ("Saul") was born in the Brooklyn in 1930 and is a U.S. citizen. His father, Aaron Klausner, was born in Krynica, Poland in 1900. His mother was born in Romania in 1902.

58. Saul's grandfather, Jacob Moses Klausner, had ownership interests in twelve properties in Krynica, Poland, including the Hotel Paradise, the Hotel New York and the Hotel Ringowka. In 1939, after the Nazi invasion, Aaron Klausner, who lived in New York, sent money via Western Union to buy safe passage for his parents. Nothing was ever heard again from them or any other member of his family. After the war, witnesses told Aaron Klausner that his parents were murdered in front of the house by local Poles.

59. In the 1960's [sic], Aaron Klausner filed a claim with the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission in Washington, D.C., under the American Polish agreement, for $250,000.00. He was awarded $26,211.77 and $7,142.71 in interest, but he only received a few thousand dollars for the twelve properties that his family owned in Poland. Aaron Klausner died in 1977.

60. Since his father's death, Saul has attempted to pursue his family's claims. He wanted to travel to Poland to reclaim the property, but was warned of the dangers that he might encounter as a Jew reclaiming real estate in Poland. He was told that Jews who went to Poland on similar missions had not been heard of since. He wanted to go more recently, but was warned that the Polish Government would not give him access to the records. Recently, Saul obtained some of the property records pertaining to his family's assets, indicating that his family's properties were taken unjustly. He estimates that his family's properties are worth approximately $13,000,000.00.

61. Goldie Knobel ("Goldie") was born on July 9, 1942 in Dukla, Poland. She is a U.S. citizen and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother Yochwet Knobel (nee Feit) owned and managed a large international convalescent hotel in Ivonith [sic], Poland, in partnership with her brother, Nochum Feit. Her father was a decorated Polish Army veteran.

62. In 1939 the Nazis invaded Poland and within a short time they came to the Knobel home. The Nazis ordered the entire family to evacuate the building within fifteen minutes, or they would be shot. Her parents took a baby carriage, loaded it up with whatever possessions they could, and went into hiding. They remained in hiding for the next five years, living under subhuman conditions to avoid being caught.

63. After the War, the Knobel family emerged from hiding and were directed to go to Stetin [sic], Poland, where they were registered. They were later sent to a displaced persons ("DP") camp in Berlin, and eventually came to the United States in 1951.

64. Nochun Feit also returned to Stetin [sic], Poland, with the Knobel family. He had been in hiding with the Knobel family. One day in 1946, he went out to visit a government office and failed to return. Yochwet Knobel, his sister, became concerned and lead a search party in Stetin to locate him. After several hours, they found him, dead. After having evaded the Nazis for five years, he had been hacked to death with a sharp weapon by local Poles. He was buried in Stetin [sic].

65. The Knobel family had been threatened by Poles prior to the murder. They had been told that if they tried to remain in Poland, they would all be killed. After the brutal death of Nochun, they felt compelled to flee Poland.

66. Goldie's parents lived the rest of their lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her father died in the 1980's [sic] and her mother died in the 1990's [sic]. They lived with physical and emotional scars of the threats, torture and violence that they experienced in Poland. While alive, both of Goldie's parents were terrified of ever returning to Poland.

67. Goldie now seeks the Police records regarding the murder of her uncle. She also seeks the return of the real property that belonged to her family before the war."

68. Republic of Poland, Ministry of the Treasury of Poland and other government offices, through their ministers, officers and directors, conduct the affairs of Poland.

69. In regard to the allegations set forth herein, Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] have engaged in commercial activities that are typically conducted by the private sector. A significant percentage of their operations involve private, commercial activities, including the management, renting, leasing and development of numerous parcels of real estate and other valuable assets. Many of these properties and assets were confiscated illegally from Jews living in Poland prior to, during and after World War II, through a calculated, barbaric common scheme of anti-Semitism, perpetuated by Poland, which culminated in the death, injury, maiming and expulsion of thousands of Jews from Poland after the Holocaust.

70. Defendants John Does Numbers 1 through 100 are ficticious names representing foreign governmental and private bodies, including individuals, the identities of which are unknown at this time, that participated in the common course of conduct alleged herein. Such defendants dispossessed and took over assets righfully belonging to class members.

71. Upon information and belief, Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] do business in the United States. A portion of all of the Defendant's [sic] financial activities are directed at, and impact upon, persons in the United States. At all relevant times, the Defendants have maintained substantial quantities of assets in the United States, including New York, and/or have places of business in the State of New York or continuously and systematically transact business in the State of New York.

 

CLASS ALLEGATIONS

 

72. Plaintiffs seek to represent a class comprised of the following: Jewish victims and their heirs, whose property was either subject to looting initially by the Nazi's [sic] and/or further expropriated, commercially managed, laundered and/or liquidated by Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic], under a common scheme to deplete and/or expunge the Jews of Poland and plunder all their assets.

73. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (a) (1). The proposed class is so numerous that individual joinder of all its members is impracticable under the standards of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (a) (1). As the factual allegations demonstrate, thousands of persons are members of the class. While the exact number and identities of the class members are unknown at this time, such information can be ascertained through appropriate investigation and discovery.

74. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (a) and 23 (b) (3). There are questions of law and fact that are common with respect to all members of the class, which predominate over any individual issues which may exist. Common questions of fact and law include the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (a) (3). Plaintiffs' claims are typical of the claims of the members of the class. Plaintiffs and all members of the class have been similarly affected and harmed by Defendants.

76. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (a) (4). The class representatives will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the members of the class, and do not have interests which are antagonistic to the interests of other class members. The class representatives have retained attorneys experienced in the prosecution of complex litigation and class action litigation.

77. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (b) (3). A class action is superior to other available methods for the fair, efficient and just adjudication of this litigation. Individual joinder of all members of each class is impractical. Even if individual class members had the resources to pursue individual litigation, it would be unduly burdensome to the courts in which the individual litigation would proceed. Individual litigation magnifies the delay and expense to all parties in the court system of resolving the controversies engendered by the Defendants' conduct. The class action device allows a single court to provide the benefits of unitary adjudication, judicial economy, and the fair and equitable handling of all plaintiffs' claims in a single forum. The prosecution of this action as a class action conserves the resources of the parties and of the judicial system, and protects the rights of each class member. Furthermore, for many, if not most class members, a class action is the only feasible mechanism that allows them an opportunity for legal redress and justice.

78. This action is also certifiable under the provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (b) (1) and/or 23 (b) (2) because:

 

 

 

 

FACTS

79. Prior to the Holocaust, Jews comprised approximately twenty-one percent of the non-agricultural population of Eastern Europe. They represented a greater proportion of the middle and upper classes, and usually lived in the city center areas, which, today, are the most valuable parcels of real estate in Poland.

80. On the eve of the Holocaust, there were over three million Jews living in Poland, representing about ten percent of the Polish population. This was the largest, single concentration of the Jewish population, representing approximately twenty percent of the total Jewish population, worldwide.

81. In Eastern Europe, including Poland, Jewish life centered around major cities. In Warsaw, approximately thirty-three percent of the population was Jewish. In Krakow, approximately twenty-five percent of the population was Jewish. In Kielce, approximately fifty percent of the population was Jewish.

82. The Jews in Poland in the years immediately preceding the Holocaust, paid approximately thirty percent of the taxes collected by the Polish government.

83. On September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. Within weeks, they captured and nationalized most of the country.

84. As an integral part of the Nazis [sic] master plan to achieve a "final solution of ethnic cleansing" and as a necessary component of their strategy to dominate Europe and beyond, the Nazis deemed it necessary to acquire the wealth of the European Jews. The Nazis did not have sufficient assets to conduct a war of aggression and genocide without looting the assets of the very people they sought to liquidate. By far the group that suffered the most from these policies was the European Jews. Mass extermination was preceded, accompanied and followed by a methodical, systematic and industrial-sized confiscation of assets, through illegal statutes, forcible-taking, extortion, blackmail and murder.

85. Billions of dollars of assets and properties owned by Jews in Poland were misappropriated by the Nazis, who systematically robbed and pilfered from Jewish businesses, Jewish homes and from Jews, themselves. Individual Jewish businesses were put under the administration of a "treuhandler", who controlled all the assets of the Jewish owned companies, and used such assets for the benefit of the Nazis.

86. In late 1944, the Russian Army began to liberate parts of Poland. During the following months, all of Poland was liberated. The Nazis were forced to abandon the real estate and many other assets that they had confiscated from the Jews."

87. Prior to the Holocaust, middle and upper class Jews owned significant assets and properties in Poland. At the onset of the Holocaust, many Jews buried or hid whatever assets they could on their properties, in order to avoid anticipated looting by the Nazis.

88. At the end of the Holocaust, emaciated survivors, many gravely ill, who had miraculously survived the concentration camps and five years under Nazi occupation, returned to their homes in Poland, seeking their family members and possessions. Others, who had fled into Russia and elsewhere, also returned to their former homes in Poland. Most discovered that they were the sole survivors of their entire extended families.

89. The Polish administration and the local Poles did not welcome the return of Jews. Many assumed that all Jews were completely exterminated, and that their properties no longer belonged to their former owners. Poles, including all of the Defendants, wrongfully took possession of Jewish assets and properties prior to the return of the Jewish survivors, and had no intention of returning ownership, control or management of such assets and properties to their rightful owners.

90. After the War, Jewish survivors attempted to reclaim their assets in Polish courts, and sought to gain entry to their properties so that they could take control of, and regain valuables hidden during the War. These included, among other things, real estate holdings, cash, securities, bonds, insurance policies, diamonds, jewelry, personal items of intrinsic value, family photographs, legal documents, and title deeds.

91. However, Jews were not accepted back to their former country. Apparently, Poland was determined to bring an end to the 1,000 year old Jewish presence, and was not prepared to allow the Jews to resettle and regain ownership of their properties and other assets. Instead, a horrific plan was put into action.

92. A common scheme of savage, unchecked, anti-Semitism was unleashed against returning Jews, killing, maiming and injuring thousands of defenseless Jewish Holocaust victims. The Polish government, people, police and army were actual participants. Within a short period of time, no Jew felt safe in Poland. Newspapers reported terrified Jewish survivors everywhere: Increadibly, the killing of Jews had continued in Poland for more than two years after Germany's surrender. It was this Polish anti-Semitic violence that gave a strong impetus to the 'Bricha', or flight of the Jews to Palestine. Thus, after the killing of two young Jews in Biala Podlaska, all 30 survivors left. In Lublin, Leon Felhendler [sic], one of the leaders of the Sobibor revolt, was likewise killed , also killed in Lublin , on 19 March 1946, was Chaim Hirschman , one of the only two survivors of Belzec death camp. [Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust, p.240. (William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1993)]

93. This common scheme ran from the end of World War II until at least 1947 and beyond. It was designed to exterminate and/or expel the Jews from Poland through forced expulsion or death.

94. Poles who committed crimes of racial cleansing and torture against returning Jews were seldom brought to justice or were released after a short period of detention.

95. On July 4, 1946, a horrific pogrom was perpetrated against Jews in Kielce, Poland. Between forty-two and seventy Jews, including women and young children, were murdered and many others were injured by Poles in one of the bloodiest pogroms ever seen in Poland. New evidence indicates hat the Polish police and government participated in the attack. Witnesses reported that the local police and Polish soldiers instigated the crowd into committing this atrocity, and forced Jews from their homes out into the streets, where they were attacked. Soldiers bringing wounded Jews to a nearby hospital beat and robbed their Jewish charges on the way. Polish soldiers were observed directly involved in the murder of Jews and the looting of their property. The head of the provincial Bureau for Public Security, Major Sobczynski, in charge of security in Kielce, has been directly implicated in escalating the pogrom. They were also denied the opportunity to complete the necessary documents to secure title to their assets.

96. After the July 4, 1946 pogrom at Kielce, Poland, there was a mass flight of Jews from Poland. It overwhelmed the available resources of the occupying Western forces in Austria. The flood of Jews fleeing Poland continued over the next year. U.S. authorities in Germany alone, accepted forty-five thousand Jewish displaced persons arriving through Austria.

97. Prior to World War II, Jews comprised fifty percent of the total population of Kielce, Poland. Shortly after the pogrom in July 1946, there were no Jews left in Kielce. The Poles, themselves, had rendered Kielce "Juden Rein".

98. Other less publicized pogroms took place in other parts of Poland.

99. As a direct result of the Polish Government's and the Polish people's conduct, surviving Jews were forced to flee Poland, leaving valuable assets in Poland .

100. Many properties belonging to Jews in Poland had been initially confiscated by the Nazis. As the Nazis retreated, Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] seized these assets and treated them as their own.

101. These properties were not Nazi assets at all. They had been plundered from Jewish families. Owing to the common scheme initiated by the Polish Government, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic], Jewish survivors were forced to flee Poland and were unable to reclaim their properties.

102. The Polish Government passed a series of illegal, self-serving laws allowing for the change of title of "abandoned property". According to Polish Government report, the Treasury was permitted to seize Jewish properties that were not expropriated by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

103. The Polish Government, the Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic] then proceeded to take possession of Jewish owned property without any attempt to locate survivors and heirs.

104. Since the Holocaust, survivors and their heirs have continually tried to regain their real estate and other assets, mostly without any success. The Defendants have thereby perpetuated the atrocities initiated by the Nazis against Polish Jews.

105. In 1998, a representative of Skarb admitted in an interview with an American journalist that Skarb holds title to over 170,000 properties that formerly belonged to Jewish Holocaust victims.

106. Up until recently, members of the class have reported that it has been impossible to gain access to the relevant documents to substantiate a property claim in Poland. Jewish survivors and their heirs have been told by Polish officials that relevant documents are not available to them.

107. Because of threats, acts of violence and futility, members of the class are terrified about the prospect of having to return to Poland to claim back their property and other assets.

108. At all times relevant to the events described herein, the ministers, officers and directors of Poland , Skarb and the other Defendants knew, or were in possession of such information that they should have known, that they were part of an "ethnic and racial cleansing" scheme which (i) resulted in depriving Jewish Holocaust victims and their heirs of their assets and property, and (ii) provided Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] with enormous profits from widespread looting and plundering, initiated during the Nazis [sic] Holocaust and continued by the Poles. The threats, beatings, rapes, and murders directed at Jewish Poles were part of a State sponsored wave of ethnic cleansing, aimed at removing all remaining traces of Polish Jews from Poland.

109. From 1945, all Defendants were well aware of the circumstances under which they were confiscating Jewish owned property and assets. They nonetheless continued to expropriate Jewish property on a massive level in a climate which was self-created and conductive to continued looting of Jewish assets, without any regard for creating a safe environment for their Jewish citizens.

110. Officers, directors and officials of the Defendants did not attempt to determine which property owners had survived the War. They made no reasonable effort to locate living heirs. Defendants [sic] conduct with respect to such looted assets went far beyond negligence; it was a violation of Polish and international law."

 

AS AND FOR A FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Declaration that Defendants Have Violated International Law)

 

 

111. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 110 as if the same were fully set forth herein.

112. Poland, the Polish Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic] violated international law enforceable in this Court as federal common law and the law of nations, as evidenced by various sources, including but not limited to, the Nuremberg Principles, the Hague Convention of 1907, the Polish Minority Treaty of 1919 and the Geneva Convention of 1929.

113. Said Defendants' [sic] violated such customary international laws by creating, participating in, and/or for failing to prevent ethnic and racial cleansing perpetrated against Jewish survivors returning to their homes in Poland after the Holocaust, and by then trafficking in, managing and commercially profiting from the assets and property looted from the Plaintiffs and other class members, and by failing, concealing and refusing to disgorge such assets and the profits obtained from such assets, all of which were obtained pusuant to barbaric crimes against an ethnic and racial minority in a scheme that has continued for the last fifty-four years.

 

AS AND FOR A SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Declaration that Defendants Aided andAbetted the Violation of International Law)

 

 

114. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 113 as if the same were fully set forth herein.

115. Poland, the Polish Treasury, and the other Defendant's [sic] aided and abetted in the implementation of a systematic scheme of racial and ethnic cleansing perpetrated against Jewish survivors returning to their homes in Poland after the Holocaust, including plundering and looting, in violation of customary international law enforceable in this Court as federal common law and the law of nations, as evidenced by various sources, including but not limited to, the Nuremberg Principles, the Hague Convention of 1907, the Polish Minority Treaty of 1919 and the Geneva convention [sic] of 1929.

116. Said Defendants aided and abetted in the violation of such customary international laws by condoning and disregarding the atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish survivors attempting to return to their homes in Poland after the Holocaust, and by knowingly receiving, managing, commercially profiting from, and trafficking in the assets and property of the Plaintiffs and other class members, under the aforesaid scheme that has continued for the last fifty-four years.

 

AS AND FOR A THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Conversion)

 

 

117. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 116 as if the same were fully set forth herein.

118. Poland, the Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic] have wrongfully converted, used, operated, managed and alienated the Plaintiffs' and other class members' assets and property for their own use and benefit.

 

AS AND FOR A FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Unjust Enrichment)

 

 

119. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 116 [sic] as if the same were fully set forth herein.

120. Poland, the Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic] have been unjustly enriched during the last fifty-four years by knowingly receiving, managing, commercially profiting from, trafficking in, and converting assets wrongfully taken and/or wrongfully withheld from the Plaintiffs and other class members, and by retaining the profits from such assets and properties, all of which were obtained as a direct result of the systematic scheme of violence, murder and liquidation heretofore alleged herein.

 

AS AND FOR A FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Restitution and Disgorgment)

 

 

121. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 116 [sic] as if the same were fully set forth herein. 122. Poland, the Polish Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic] have failed and refused to disgorge assets and property, and the profits derived from such assets and property, that were looted from the Plaintiffs and other class members, all of which were wrongfully obtained by Defendants pursuant to the systematic scheme of violence, murder and liquidation heretofore alleged herein. Defendants have instead retained such assets, property and profits for their own commercial gain and benefit, all of which should be returned to Plaintiffs and the other class members.

 

AS A SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Breach of Fiduciary Duty)

 

 

123. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 122 as if the same were fully set forth herein.

124. Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] violated their obligations to Plaintiffs and the other class members, who were victims of the Holocaust and the subsequent persecution of Jewish survivors attempting to return, or dissuaded from returning, to their homes in Poland, by failing to retain and hold their assets and property, and to return the same to the Plaintiffs and other class members after the Holocaust.

125. The aforesaid acts and conduct of Defendants was a violation of the fiduciary duties due and owing to Plaintiffs and the other class members, and was unconscionable and inequitable and was taken with gross reckless and wanton indifference to the rights of Plaintiffs and other class members, and in complete disregard to the consequences and damages such acts and conduct would cause the Plaintiffs and other class members, entitling them to recover real and punitive damages.

 

AS A SECNTH CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Constructive Trust)

 

 

126. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through 125 as if the same were fully set forth herein.

127. By reason of the foregoing, Plaintiffs and the other class members are entitled to have Defendants declared to be constructive trustees of the [sic] all of the assets, property, income and profits held and realized by Defendants, and to hold said assets, property, income and profits for and on behalf of the Plaintiffs and other class members and to transfer and pay over to the Plaintiffs and other class members all such assets, property, income and profits derived therefrom.

 

AS AND FOR AN EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Accounting)

 

 

128. Plaintiffs repeat and reallege the allegations contained [sic] paragraphs 1 through 127 as if the same were fully set forth herein.

129. Poland, the Polish Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic] fraudulently concealed the assets, property and profits that they received, trafficked in, commercially managed, and converted from the Plaintiffs and other class members, and have, for the last fifty-four years, concealed the profits obtained from such assets and property, all of which were obtained as a direct result of the systematic scheme of violence, murder and liquidation heretofore alleged herein.

130. Defendants have consistently withheld and misrepresented information concerning the status and disposition of such assets and property, and the profits realized therefrom, and have failed and refused to account for the same, such that the Plaintiffs and other class members are entitled to an accounting as to the disposition of all such assets, property and profits.

131. The acts, conduct and activities of the Defendants described herein were acts committed outside of the United States in connection with commercial activities in Poland, the Polish Treasury and the other Defendant's [sic], but which have resulted in damages to Plaintiffs and the other class of members in the United States.

132. Defendant's [sic] transactions were of the same type of activities commonly engaged in by private persons and entities. In addition, Defendants derived substantial profits on their real estate transactions in a wholly commercial manner.

133. Defendants [sic] illegal activities caused a direct effect in the United States because Defendants' transactions in, and liquidation of, assets looted from the Plaintiffs and other class members, denied thousands of U.S. citizens, over the last fifty-four years, the right to own and control their assets and property which rightfully belonged to them. Plaintiffs and the other class members were denied the financial enjoyment and benefit that they would have normally had from the use and disposition of these assets and property.

 

AS AND FOR AN EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION

 

(Accounting)

 

 

134. Additionally, upon information and belief, all Defendants [sic] reserves in the United States have been augmented and enhanced by profits earned by the illegal transactions in which they engaged, as described above.

135. For a period of ever 50 years, Poland, Skarb and the other Defendants fraudulently concealed the nature and extent of their involvement in transactions involving such looted assets and property. Until recently, when previously secret documents have become accessible in Polish archives, Plaintiffs and the other class members were unaware of the extent of Poland's, Skarb's and the other Defendants' fraudulent acts and conduct, and, thus, their right to a remedy against Poland, Skarb and the other Defendants. Consequently, Plaintiffs and the other class members are entitled to the benefit of equitable tolling with respect to any limitations period.

 

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and the other class members, pray that the Court:

a) Certify a class comprised of members as identified above under the Class Allegations;

b) Declare that Poland, Skarb and the other Defendant's [sic] by trafficking in, disposing of, and concealing assets and property looted from Plaintiffs and the other class members, with knowledge that such assets and property had

been obtained pursuant to systematic persecution and murder, violated, and/or aided and abetted in the violation of (i) international law and international treaties; (ii) customary international law enforceable in this court as federal common law and the law of nations; and (iii) the common and statutory laws of Poland and the United States of America;

c) Order an audit of Poland's, Skarb's and the other Defendants' transactions from 1945 to the present, involving the assets and property of the Plaintiffs and other class members in Poland, and direct them to account to the Plaintiffs and other class members for all such assets, property, income and profits;

d) Direct Poland, Skarb and the other Defendants to make available forthwith all documents or other records needed to determine the identity of the aforesaid looted assets and property received by them;

e) Declare that Poland, Skarb and the other Defendants are constructive trustees of the [sic] all of Plaintiff's and the other class members' assets and property, and the income and profits derived therefrom, held and realized by Defendants, and direct said Defendants to return all identifiable assets and property looted from Plaintiffs and the other class members, and received by Defendants to Plaintiffs and the other class members;

f) Award Plaintiffs and the other class members the value of any identified assets and property, and the income and profits derived therefrom, looted from Plaintiffs and the other class members, and held or received by the Defendants;

g) Award Plaintiffs and the other class members compensatory and punitive damages arising out of the unlawful acts, conduct, and activities of the Defendants, as aforesaid;

h) Order the Defendants to disgorge any profits realized by them for trafficking in, disposing of, and/or concealing the aforesaid looted assets and property, or the products or profits derived therefrom, with knowledge that such assets and property, and the products or profits derived therefrom, were initiated in violations of international law;

i) Award to the Plaintiffs and other class members, the costs and expenses of this action, including the fees and costs of experts, together with reasonable attorneys' fees; and

j) Such other and further relief as the Court shall deem just, proper and equitable.

 

Dated: New York, New York, June 18, 1999

Respectfully submitted,

LAW OFFICES OF MEL URBACH

/signed/

Mel Urbach (MU-5690)

One Exchange Place, Suite 1000

Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

Tel: (201) 395-4709

KLEIN & SOLOMON, LLP

/signed/

Edward E. Klein (EK-8587)

275 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor,

New York, New York 10016

Tel: (212) 661-9400

End of COMPLAINT.

 

Short description of attached Exhibits:

Exhibit A - Ref. Paragraph #23. Photo of 45 Targowa Street, Warsaw, Poland.

Exhibit B - Ref. Paragraph #27. Photo of Szeroka 13 Street, Krakow, Poland.

Second page of Exhibit is a plot map of Szeroka Street.

Exhibit C - Ref. Paragraph #35. Photo of "Ring 7, in Bresslau, now a part

of Poland". On photo are two Jews probably claimants to the property.

Exhibit D - Ref. Paragraph #39. Alleged translation from Polish of a letter

attesting to the death of the family of Plaintiff Judah Weller's step-mother.

The translation is as follows, quote:

"Municipal Administration of Kaluszyn

County of Minsk-Mazowiecki

No. 28/1945

Kaluszyn, October 22, 1945

To: Citizen Srul-Erul-Efroim Weller

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Municipal Administration in Kaluszyn notifies citizen Weller

S.-E., that his family was destroyed (annihilated) in the year 1942 by the

Germans, namely his wife and children were shot dead together with the

parents Kiferbaum, while the young Kiferbaums were taken to labor camps, for

forced labor, of unknown destination. In Kaluszyn, in 1942, Jews were

deported en masse to Treblinka, the place of extermination, and those who

escaped through hiding were later shot in the local ( ? cemetery).

The Mayor, [No signature is visible. Typewritten, possibly W. Dam or W.Dara]

Round seal of the Municipal Administration in Kaluszyn, Minsk-Mazowiecki,

Poland.

Translation from Polish by: Lawyers' & Merchants' Translation Bureau, Carl

V. Bertsche, Wm. Bertsche. Est. 1908. Phone DIoby 4-2930-2931, 11 Broadway,

New York 4, N.Y."

The second page of Exhibit C is a

"Certificate of Accuracy, State of New York, County of New York,

Translation from Polish into English.

On this day personally appeared before me S. RAPPOPORT who, after being duly

sworn, deposes and states: That he is a translator of the Polish and English

languages by profession and as such connected with the LAWYERS' & MERCHANTS'

TRANSLATION BUREAU; That he is thoroughly conversant with these languages;

That he has carefully made the attached translation from the original

document written in the Polish language, (on the official paper of the

LAWYERS' & MERCHANTS' TRANSLATION BUREAU); and That the attached translation

is true and correct English verion of such original, to the best of his

knowledge and belief. [S. Rappoport's signature illegible] SUBSCRIBED AND

SWORN TO BEFORE ME THIS 17th day of June 1947. [Hertha Bertsche's signature

illegible.

Notary's stamp: HERTHA BERTSCHE, Notary Public, State of New York, No.

41-02777200, Qualified in Queens County, Cert. filed in New York County,

Commission Expires March 30, 195[1 or 2].

LAWYERS' & MERCHANTS' TRANSLATION BUREAU, C.V. Bertsche, Wm. Bertsche, Est.

1908, 11 Broadway, New York 4, N.Y.

Exhibit E - Ref. Paragraph #41. Poor quality xeroxed photo of a building.

Exhibit F - Ref. Paragraph #53. Black square on page only with words

"Rejestr domow z 1930 r". Second page of this Exhibit is a plot map of

"Krakowsko" and "Bozego Ciala". - - - END

++++++++++++++++++++++

We obtained this document from the POLISH-AMERICAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE, Dana I. Alvi Chairwoman, P. O. Box 3206, Santa Monica, CA. 90408, USA -- Tel & Fax 310 - 829 -15 27.

E-mail: PAPUREC@aol.com

http://www.3w3.net/PAPUREC

http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/8844

al Assembly on December 10, 1948.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ce document : http://aaargh-international.org/fran/div/racket/racpol9907xx.html>



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