project HEART director_311.
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
A new initiative announced this week will help individuals seek compensation for property in Europe which belonged to them or their heirs before World War II.
To coincide with Holocaust Remembrance and Martyrs Day, the government announced that it was launching the initiative – The Holocaust Era Restitution Taskforce, Project HEART – together with the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Project HEART is in the process of receiving questionnaires from applicants who believe they are entitled to compensation for assets unlawfully taken away from them and their heirs during and after the war.
“Ensuring the victims of the Holocaust at least a small measure of justice for the property that was brutally stolen, looted and expropriated from them under the Nazi regime is a cause that demands our utmost dedication so that these people and their heirs are properly compensated,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.
“Representing the interests of Jews all around the world, the State of Israel views this effort as our responsibility as a nation and as a people.”
Israel’s backing of Project HEART represents the first time the
government has put the issue of restoration of Jewish property for
individuals at the front and center of its agenda, Jewish Agency sources
Project HEART head Bobby Brown said Israel’s involvement is a positive development in realm of Holocaust restitution.
“The strength and determination of the Jewish people is the result of
having to go through the most horrible experiences known to humankind,”
he said. “Thus, we the Jewish people must do all we can to bring even a
glimmer of justice that has been denied them too long.”
Since Project HEART’s website went online on February 23 it has had
702,000 hits and 400,000 views on Facebook. In addition, it has received
1,053 completed questionnaires.