Jewish community members from Romania hold Torah scrolls during the inauguration ceremony for the Holocaust memorial in Bucharest October 8, 2009..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Holocaust restitution legislation was passed in the Romanian Parliament on Tuesday with support from across the political spectrum.
Similar to restitution legislation that has been passed in the last three months in Latvia, Romania and Serbia, this newly-minted law will expedite the processing of property claims filed by survivors and members of the Romanian Jewish community.
Many of people who have filed claims have been waiting over a decade to receive a decision on the matter and another 40,000 claims are still unprocessed.
The legislation was passed thanks to efforts by the World Jewish Restitution Organization and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania. Proceeds from the reparations will be distributed among the local Jewish community in Romania, as well as abroad. The two organizations have also pledged to donate more than USD 2 million to aid Romanian Holocaust survivors in Israel.
Before the Holocaust, Romania had a thriving Jewish community of around 725,000. Upward of 300,000 Romanian Jews perished in the Holocaust and today the Romanian Jewish population has dwindled to around 9,000.