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I noticed several of my cousins listed under the 1936 Polish Bank Accounts PKO information. What exactly does this mean? If they had assets in a bank, where are those assets now? Does the bank still exist? Thanks for your help.
The bank still exists, but I do not know of any additional information, let alone assets, that can be obtained from the bank using the information found in the 1936 directory (which includes the account number). However, I have not pursued that strongly. Perhaps, someone who is an expert on Holocaust asset recovery can advise.
justin_ruch1180, I do not know whether the information in this directory can be used to reclaim assets, either by itself or together with other documentation. I am not aware of anyone having investigated this question.
Assuming that a Jew did not empty his account prior to or shortly after the outbreak of World War II to protect the assets or to protect him or herself, the savings would surely have been seized by the German authorities (along with all other Jewish assets) and either pocketed by German officials or sent on to the German state treasury. In the unlikely event that any of the assets taken by the Germans remained somewhere in Poland, they would have been taken by the postwar Polish government as abandoned German assets. It is extraordinarily unlikely that such cash could be traced -- though we've heard that there are some specific records of looted assets in the German Bundesarchiv in Koblenz -- and it is not clear against whom such a claim would be made. The PKO Postal Savings Bank, as such, had no successor and should not be mistaken for today's PKO SA or PKO BP banks.
This is an intersting thread, anyone had any advancements with regards to asset recovery? If so please can you share it with us. I assume they will need some form of supporting documents. If there are any holocaust asset recover experts in the forum then would you like to offer some advice.