(JTA) — More than 150,000 applications have been submitted for restitution of Jewish owned property lost during the Holocaust.
The number was reported by Project HEART — the Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce, which seeks to help individuals with restitution for property that was confiscated, looted, or forcibly sold during the Holocaust. It is a nonprofit initiative of the Government of Israel in cooperation with the Jewish Agency for Israel and numerous other groups.
“Many Jewish Holocaust survivors had property confiscated, looted or forcibly sold by the Nazis or their collaborators during the Holocaust era and most have received no compensation for their lost assets,” Bobby Brown, executive director of Project HEART, said in a statement.
Project HEART formed in February 2011. By December that year, due to the overwhelming response of Holocaust survivors and their heirs, Israel’s government decided to extend the deadline for submitting questionnaires regarding their eligibility to gain restitution or compensation for the property they or their relatives lost during the World War II era.
“The issue of identifying Jewish property is still a central challenge even 70 years after World War II,” Leah Nass, Israel’s deputy minister of senior citizens, said in a statement. “In order to promote this issue we need to put international pressure and to do all that we can to do justice for the survivors, the Holocaust victims and their families.”