The commission was formed recently in response to growing outrage at the returns, which concern highly valuable plots and buildings, in Warsaw and some other cities, that were seized by the state from private owners—Poles, Jews and others—under a 1945 communist-era decree.
Democratic Poland opened the possibility of the return of property, but in many cases the process has gone wrong, the rightful heirs have been tricked out of their rights and the tenants evicted by the new owners, sometimes with nowhere to go.
The commission led by Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki will review cases. It has the power to take wrong decisions to court to seek their reversal or compensation for the rightful inheritors. It is beginning with restitutions in Warsaw.
Jaki said Monday that the first hearings will be June 28-30 and will concern a building in Twarda street from which a renowned high school was evicted.
Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz refused to appear and had questioned the commission's authority. The panel wanted to know to what extent she was aware of the irregularities that had been described in the media.
A house returned to her family was among those investigated.