Jewish Trusteeship over Property of Exterminated Jews Demanded by Board of Deputies
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Jewish Trusteeship over Property of Exterminated Jews Demanded by Board of Deputies

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Jewish post-war demands have been formulated here by the Board of Jewish Deputies, for submission to its forthcoming plenary session, in a statement of Post-War Policy prepared by its foreign affairs committee.

The statement suggests that a Jewish Trusteeship be established for each country freed from Nazi or Axis control. The trustees would, by law, represent all interests in restitution and compensation of Jews of that country in cases where the owners or their heirs cannot be found, or the Jewish communities and other bodies are not restored. These trustees would be recognized as the heirs and successors of the Jews who left no other heirs and would be authorized to use the property of exterminated or vanished Jewish families for general Jewish purposes, or for Jewish reconstruction and resettlement.

“In view of the great destitution prevailing among the Jewish population in European countries, no European Government should claim the right to divert Jewish property for purposes other than restitution and compensation to Jews and the rehabilitation of their communal life,” the statement declares. “In dealing with problems of forced transfers and ‘aryanization’ of Jewish property, it should be assumed that all such sales of Jewish property effected after the establishment of the Nazi or Axis control had been effected under duress. Such sales, notwithstanding the bona fides of the present possessor, should be set aside.”

The statement also demands that “the principles of equality, justice and freedom, and consideration for the relative needs of the Jewish population victimized by the Nazis and their satellites, should be carried into practice during the transitional period preceding the formal conclusion of peace and the adoption of a normal constitutional order in the countries concerned.”

“Refugees who fled from persecution by the Nazis or the governments of occupied Europe should be allowed to return to their countries,” the statement urges. “Such refugees should not be coerced into returning to their countries. Deportees from one area of occupied Europe to another should, when the respective areas are liberated, either be helped to return to their own area if they so wish, or to proceed to another country prepared to receive them.”


The document demands the naturalization of stateless persons under “an appropriate International Convention.” It requests that no discrimination should be practiced with regard to admission of Jewish immigrants into any country to which they may wish to go. It also urges that stateless persons should be granted the right to work. “The disabilities of stateless persons,” it points out, “are of a serious character, and bear with special hardship on large numbers of Jews in Europe who were deprived of their citizenship, in open breach of treaty stipulations.”

Other points of the statement ask that anti-Jewish legislation in countries which have been under Nazi domination should be abrogated and its effects eliminated, and that the instruments by which the future order may be established should include an effective provision against defamation and all forms of anti-Jewish discrimination. The declaration also urges that all citizens should enjoy in law and in fact equal protection of the state to which they belong and should be free from legislative, judicial and administrative discrimination of any kind, including any form of numerous clauses, in all spheres of life regulated by law, religious, cultural, political, economical and social.


“In cases of infraction of the provisions of international agreements concerning the Jews, the aggrieved parties – individuals or communities – should have the right and proper facilities to bring their complaints before the international organization envisaged by the United Nations, and the organs of this international organization should have the right, and be charged with the duty, to take effective steps against such infractions and their consequences,” the statement suggests.

The Board of Deputies also demands that within any state Jews should be allowed to constitute themselves as a Community or to obtain recognition as a group, for maintaining their religious observances and administering their religious, cultural and charitable institutions for the purpose of participating and assisting in adapting Jewish life to the changing economic and social condition in the country concerned. “The free exercise of the Jewish religion and its observances shall be guaranteed, and Jewish communal and religious institutions should be supported by the State and municipalities to the same extent as similar non-Jewish institutions are supported,” the statement says.

“The denunciation by the United Nations of the Nazi and Fascist persecution of the Jews since the advent of the Hitler regime, culminating in the policy of extermination of the Jews ruthlessly carried out during the war, should be solemnly placed on record, and effect be given to this denunciation by the formal inclusion of this crime against humanity within the category of war crimes and in the indictment against those responsible,” the document concludes.

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