House passes bill to help Holocaust survivors obtain restitution

“This is a powerful statement of America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Holocaust survivors in their quest for justice,” Gideon Taylor, the WJRO chairman of operations, said in a statement.

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April 25, 2018 09:41
YIVO unveils lost Jewish documents thought to have been destroyed during the Holocaust

YIVO unveils lost Jewish documents thought to have been destroyed during the Holocaust. (photo credit: THOS ROBINSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

 
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WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives unanimously passed a law on Tuesday meant to hold accountable European countries that have been slow to return stolen assets to victims of the Holocaust.

The Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today Act, or the JUST Act, passed the Senate in December and now goes to the White House for US President Donald Trump’s signature. The law would require the State Department to issue reports on the progress of restitution efforts within 47 countries that in 2009 pledged to recover or compensate “Holocaust-related confiscations made during the Holocaust era between 1933-1945.”

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The bill was originally drafted by Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) in the Senate, and Joseph Crowley (D-New York) and Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) in the House.

Those 47 countries are signatories of the Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets and Related Issues, a 2009 document that committed nations to restitution before the last generation of Holocaust survivors passes away. The JUST Act is an attempt to apply outside pressure on the signatories to follow suit.

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