PRAGUE (Dec. 1)
The Association of Slovak Jewish Communities has called on the Czech National Bank to provide compensation for gold that was taken from the local Jewish community during World War II by the Slovak government.
Association spokesman Jozef Weiss told a Czech newspaper that the gold “was stolen from Slovak Jews during the war and then transferred to Prague.”
The Czech National Bank is a successor to the State Bank of Czechoslovakia, which obtained the gold from the Slovak government in 1953.
The association wants Slovak victims of the Nazis, who created a puppet government in Slovakia during the war, to be compensated by the bank.
The location of the gold, however, is not clear.
Bank spokesman Pavel Palivec said all its assets, gold included, were divided between the Czech Republic and Slovakia when Czechoslavakia split into the two countries in 1993.
But the Slovak government maintains that the gold in question was kept separate from other assets and was therefore not included in the division of former federal assets.