Talks Resume on Hungarian Restitution As Czech Officials Offer Compensation

Israel Singer, executive committee chairman of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, met this week with the new Hungarian political leadership about the return of communal Jewish properties confiscated during and after World War II.

Singer, who is also secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress, said that his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn on Wednesday was “constructive,” but disclosed no additional details.

The restitution organization held talks on the subject with the previous Hungarian government, but the inconclusive negotiations were suspended.

The current round of talks is the first being held with the new socialist-liberal government that took power in July.

In the Czech Republic, meanwhile, the Cabinet reportedly agreed Wednesday to offer a token compensation to Czechs who were held in concentration camps during the German occupation of what was then Czechoslovakia from 1938-1945.

“The government stressed its belief in the urgency of redressing historical unlawfulness,” Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus told reporters.

Victims of the Nazi persecutions, or their surviving spouses, will receive a one-time payment of $82 for every month spent in a concentration camp. Children of the victims will not be entitled to the payments.

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