Robert Szarejko, Wywłaszczenia nieruchomości w Polsce w latach 1944-1998, w: Archeion, t. 116 wyd. NDAP, Warszawa 2015, ss. 541-563
"Robert Szarejko, Expropriation of Real Estate in Poland in the Years 1944–1998. Under current
Polish legislation, “expropriation” (wywłaszczenie), is the action of the government seizing private
property or limiting the owner’s rights to it, occurring under an individual administrative act, in the
public interest, and against compensation. Nevertheless, for many years the term was used to refer to
any form of depriving an individual of their property.
During the People’s Republic of Poland period, expropriations were carried out without economic
justifi cation and the expropriated real estate was used for purposes other than originally intended.
Compensation was promised but not always paid, the explanation being economic diffi culties of the
state. As a rule, the amount of compensation was not adequate to the value of the property.
After World War II, the expropriation of real estate was an important part of the policy of the new
government. The land reform under the PKWN decree of 6 October 1944 virtually eliminated the landowning
class in Poland. The nationalization prompted by the Act of 3 January 1946 on the Takeover
of the Fundamental Branches of the National Economy Into State Ownership led to the dismantling
of the industrial bourgeoisie class. Postwar expropriations were also associated with economic plans,
e.g. those implementing national economic plans could take over real estate under the Decree of 26
April 1949 on the Acquisition and Transfer of Estates Indispensable for the Realization of National
Economic Planning. Under the Act of 20 March 1950 on the Nationalization of Mortmain Property,
Entrusting Farm Land to Parish Priests, and Creation of the Church Fund, the state took over real esta-
te owned by religious denominations. Under the Decree of 2 March 1945 on Abandoned and Derelict
Property, the State Treasury acquired the estates of citizens who found themselves outside Poland
or lost their lives in World War II (including former Jewish property). Former German property was
seized under laws such as the Decree of 8 March 1946 on Abandoned and Ex-German Property. In
addition, the state took over real estate abandoned by those resettled to the USSR, Ukrainians resettled
to the Recovered Territories under the “Vistula” operation and those deprived of Polish citizenship due
to leaving the country. Under the so-called “Bierut Decree,” the Municipality of the Capital City of
Warsaw acquired ownership of all land located within town limits.
An important piece of legislation concerning the expropriation of real estate during the period
of the People’s Republic of Poland was the Act of 12 March 1958 on the Rules and Methods of the
Expropriation of Real Estate, superseded by the Act of 29 April 1985 on Land Management and the
Expropriation of Real Estate. However, regulations concerning expropriation were included in many
other acts of law (such as the Building Law Act of 24 October 1974).
Currently, expropriation may only be undertaken when public purposes require that the owner’s
rights to the property be revoked or limited and the matter cannot be resolved in the form of an agreement.
Expropriation may only take place against compensation corresponding to the value of the
property. In addition, the expropriated property may not be used for any purpose not specifi ed in the
expropriation notice (the above mentioned issues are regulated by the Act of 21 August 1997 on Real
Under the Act of 13 October 1998 on Regulations Implementing Laws Reforming Public Administration,
real estate seized for public roads in Poland was municipalised and nationalized."
Źródło: Archeion, t. 116