Property Restitution in Eastern Europe

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This post is for historical informational purposes only. Please do not refer to this post for information pertaining to current Claims Conference programs. Visit What We Do for current program guidelines and information. Thank you.

May 8, 2008

Below is an excerpt from the Opening Statement of Senator Bill Nelson at a hearing held last week. This plan to introduce a Senate bi-partisan resolution focusing on East European property restitution is critically important. The Claims Conference has been working intensively with members of Congress on this issue.
Your involvement will help move this initiative forward. To show support, please e-mail your encouragement to Senator Nelson at

Excerpt from the Opening Statement of Senator Bill Nelsonn
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations,
Democracy and Human Rights
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 2:30 p.m.,
419 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Unfortunately, some countries have not taken nearly enough action on restitution for insurance or other property taken from Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution.Poland, for example, is the sole member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe not to have enacted restitution legislation. This is unacceptable.

That’s why I am pleased to announce today that, working with my colleagues Senators Gordon Smith, Ben Cardin, and Norm Coleman, we’ve drafted and plan to introduce a bi-partisan resolution urging all countries, especially those in the former Eastern Europe, to enact fair and comprehensive private and communal property restitution legislation and to do so quickly as possible.

Our resolution will call for the Secretary of State to engage in dialogue to achieve the aims of the resolution as well as for the convening of an international intergovernmental conference to focus on the remaining steps necessary to secure restitution and compensation of Holocaust era assets.

We hope the resolution will spur our own and other European governments into action and call attention to this important unfinished business.