Legality of PBR s activities during World War II

The activities of PBR during World War II were associated with its legality from the stand- point of the interests and law of the Polish state. For the emigration government, PBR was still owned by the Polish Ministry of Treasury, so it did not give legal legitimacy to the PBR operating in the GG and made efforts to ensure that also other governments treat it in the same way, which were partly successful. But the most important thing is that for American and English banks, the management board of PBR in London was the only legal successor of the bank from the pre-war period. Also PBR s authorities after WWII followed the same line of reasoning. By virtue of a circular from October 1945, they annulled all the administrative orders of PBR in the GG, following a conclusion that they were the result of activity of the German occupation authorities, and no the Polish institution. The illegality of the bank operating in the GG under PBR s brand and the liquidation of the branches of the pre-war PBR in the lands annexed to the Third Reich should be perceived mainly in the context of the receivables of the bank s Polish debtors, which became vis- ible after WWII. Many of them benefited from the war and repaid their liabilities earlier, thus contributing to enrichment of Germany and impoverishment of the Polish state. This pertained particularly to farmers from the lands annexed to the Reich, rich farmers, and some land owners from the GG. Therefore the Polish authorities in exile, and the communist authorities of the People s Republic of Poland, relying on different premises, concluded that repayments of pre-war liabilities to PBR, in particular early ones, have to be verified. Obviously only the communist authorities had the enforcement power. Repay- ment of pre-war liabilities during WWII was associated with how they saw the future of PBR. The stance of the Polish authorities in exile, although worked out earlier, was of lesser significance.

The bank s situation after the end of World War II

The non-communist National Political Council, when analyzing the future of PBR in inde- pendent Poland, saw it in the context of reconstruction of the agricultural system. The concept was half-baked but made it possible to capture PBR s role. According to this concept, the bank was additionally expected to administer the stocks of land earmarked for parceling out, finance development of newly created farms and sell such farms and plots of land earmarked for full agricultural development. This meant that PBR s tasks in relation to the pre-war period would significantly expand and the state would have to regularly inject huge funds to the bank. The communist authorities defined the scope of PBR s tasks in more detail in August 1945. In addition to the tasks following from the agricultural reform, the bank was asked to finance reconstruction of the farms destroyed during the war, modernization of the rural areas, nationalized and cooperative agricultural industry, and model and specialist farms. Just like in the intra-war period, in distributing loans in the field, PBR was to use the support of local credit institutions rural credit cooperatives and Municipal Credit Unions. The act of the Council of Ministers of August 1947 made the bank responsible for

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