Germany has agreed to provide restitution payments to an additional 80,000 Jews in what Claims Conference officials are describing as a historic breakthrough.
The propensity for Jewish organizations to have complicated names and frequently overlapping missions can be seen in the complex area of obtaining restitution for Holocaust-era crimes and looting of personal and communal possessions.
President Obama should raise the issue of restitution of private Jewish property during his meeting this week with Polish officials, a Jewish group has urged.
A new Holocaust-era restitution project will work to identify individuals whose property and assets were confiscated by the Nazis. Project HEART -- Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce, a new initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel with support from the government of Israel, was announced Wednesday.
A company established by Israel's Knesset to return or distribute assets belonging to Holocaust survivors and their heirs has been deficient and slow, a state comptroller's report said. The report, released Monday, found "many flaws" in the activities of the Company for the Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets, which was established in 2006. The flaws include not searching actively enough for heirs, failing to formulate a long-term policy to detect the needs of and help Holocaust survivors, and granting millions of shekels to other organizations established to assist Holocaust survivors that were not eligible to receive the funds. The report found that the company failed to advertise its assets globally, as it was charged to do three months after it was established, beginning its international campaign three years late, in April 2010.
Museum launches service for Holocaust archive searches
An Israeli coalition, including the Jewish Agency for Israel, Israeli Holocaust survivor organizations and the Knesset's pensioner affairs minister, is calling on the Claims Conference to give Israel a larger share of Holocaust restitution funds and more control over distribution decisions.
Since 1996, Jewish groups and their lawyers have gone to the mat with the likes of the Germans, the Swiss and the French, extracting $9 billion in restitution for the evil wrought in Europe by Nazi forces and their collaborators.