WASHINGTON (JTA) — A resolution urging the return or compensation of property seized from Jews during the Nazi and communist eras was passed by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The resolution passed Wednesday calls on European countries such as Poland, Romania, Latvia, Slovenia and Croatia to establish a “simple, transparent and timely process” for the return or compensation of seized property, and the secretary of state to issue an updated report evaluating whether these governments have “met the basic standards and best practices of the international community.”
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) sponsored the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
Calling it one of his “top priorities,” Cardin said, “We have had some successes in this area, but not nearly enough, and now time is running out for Holocaust survivors who are elderly and who often have pressing financial needs.”
According to the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the value of seized Jewish assets as of 2005 was between $143 billion and $215 billion. In 1930s dollars, the seized items were valued at $10 billion to $15 billion.