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Jacob Robinson Dead at 88

October 31, 1977
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Dr. Jacob Robinson, a world renowned expert and scholar on international law and the Holocaust, died here last week at the age of 88. During the Nuremberg war crimes trials in 1946 he was a consultant to Justice Robert H. Jackson who was chief counsel at the trials. He was also responsible for developing recommendations for international acting deal with restitution, compensation to Nazi victims and war crimes.

Robinson founded the Institute of Jewish Affairs of the World Jewish Congress and directed its work until 1947, when he was invited by the Jewish Agency for Palestine to serve as an advisor on problems relating to international law and the United Nations. Following the admission of Israel into the United Nations in 1948, he was appointed a member of and legal advisor to the Israeli delegation to the UN.

In 1952, Robinson was appointed by the government of Israel to draft the Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany, under which Israel was to receive from West Germany goods and services valued at more than $930 million.

In 1957, Robinson resigned from the Israeli UN delegation and became coordinator of research and documentation on the Holocaust for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. He also coordinated and organized much of the documentation for Yad Vashem.

Born in Lithuania, Robinson became an attorney and served in the Lithuanian Parliament from 1922 until its demise in 1926. In 1932, he became legal advisor to the Lithuanian Foreign Office and represented Lithuania in international jurisdictions. During the years immediately preceding World War II, he served as chairman of an unofficial committee of Jewish leaders in Lithuania. In 1940, on the eve of the country’s annexation by the Soviet Union, Robinson settled with his family in the United States. A funeral service for Robinson was held last Wednesday.

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