The WJC has led a number of restitution efforts over the past decades and was a founding member of the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO). However there are still some countries that have not yet adequately addressed the issue of property restitution.
Restitution and compensation are primarily about justice and not only about money. It is about honouring those who perished in the Shoah and helping those who survived unimaginable anguish in the Nazi death camps.
Negotiations should be conducted in the framework of the WJRO (which includes the Claims Conference and other international Jewish organizations) in coordination with the Israeli government and with the support of the US government and the European Union.
The distribution of any compensation monies should not be handled by the WJC. The
WJC does not seek any form of commission or gratification payments from Holocaust-era compensation or restitution agreements.
Funds destined for Holocaust survivors, or their heirs, should be transferred to them without delay.
Poland needs to urgently implement the law allowing for the return of confiscated properties, or alternatively for the payment of adequate compensation, to victims of the Holocaust or their heirs.
Bosnia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia should also engage in immediate negotiations to bring closure to this issue in the interests of all.
The German government and others need to ensure that poor survivors of the Shoah continue to have access to adequate medical and social services, and receive a decent pension.
Holocaust commemoration and education
Some countries do not adequately commemorate WWII- and Holocaust-related events. In many eastern European countries, Holocaust education is insufficient and/or inaccurate.
Initiatives by international organisations, governments, NGOs and private individuals to organise commemorative events on Holocaust related anniversaries are important and should be welcomed.
Political leaders and well-known personalities should be encouraged to participate in such events, as they serve as an important reminder for today’s generation.
Holocaust education should be included in every school curriculum, in all countries. Providing good education and information about the Holocaust becomes even more important as Shoah survivors will soon no longer be alive to tell their story.
The denial or trivialization of the Holocaust is becoming increasingly fashionable.
Denial of the Holocaust is abhorrent. It denigrates the memory of those who suffered and died at the hands of the Nazis.
Denial of the Holocaust has become a political weapon by anti-Semites, especially in Europe. EU wide legislation bringing a unified approach to legal action against Holocaust deniers is imperative.
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