Countries agree on rules for restitution


(JTA) — Some 43 countries have agreed on non-binding rules for the restitution of property seized by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

The rules were presented Wednesday in Prague by Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer and the U.S. State Department adviser for Holocaust assets Stuart Eizenstat.

The document recommends the principles on which the restitution and compensation for the property of the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution should be based, according to the Prague Daily Monitor.

The recommendations deal with private real estate along with religious buildings and property such as synagogues, schools and cemeteries. They also state that private property without heirs should go to indigent Holocaust survivors, Eizenstat told the Monitor. About 250,000 survivors around the world live below the poverty line, he said.

Russia has said it will not follow the recommendations, as did Belarus, Serbia and Malta. Russia wants a reference to the postwar arrangements in Europe, according to the report.

European Union representatives signed the Terezin Declaration in 2009, during the Czech EU presidency, which calls for the restitution of the Holocaust victims’ property, including private property.

Recommended from JTA