Why we have convened the conference

Letter of Ambassador Miloš Pojar, Chairman of Organizing Committee, from February 9, 2009:

"More than six decades after World War II the terrible ghosts of the Holocaust have not disappeared. The perverse ideology that led to the horrors of the Holocaust still exists and throughout our continents racial hatred and ethnic intolerance stalk our societies. Therefore, it is our moral and political responsibility to support Holocaust remembrance and education in national, as well as international, frameworks and to fight against all forms of intolerance and hatred.

The Government of the Czech Republic, in cooperation with the Documentation Centre of Property Transfers of Cultural Assets of WW II Victims, the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Terezín Memorial, the Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hussite Theological Faculty of the Charles University in Prague and the Forum 2000 Foundation, will host a ”Holocaust Era Assets” conference in Prague on June 26-30 2009. The objectives of the conference are:

To assess the progress made since the 1998 Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets in the areas of the recovery of looted art and objects of cultural, historical and religious value (according to the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and the Vilnius Forum Declaration 2000), and in the areas of property restitution and financial compensation schemes.

To review current practices regarding provenance research and restitution and, where needed, define new effective instruments to improve these efforts.

To review the impact of the Stockholm Declaration of 2000 on education, remembrance and research about the Holocaust.

To strengthen the work of the Task Force on International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research, a 26-nation body chaired by the Czech Republic in 2007-2008.

To discuss new, innovative approaches in education, social programs and cultural initiatives related to the Holocaust and other National Socialist wrongs and to advance religious and ethnic tolerance in our societies and the world.

We sincerely hope this conference will mitigate the injustices caused by the Holocaust and other National Socialist wrongs and prevent them from recurring.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Prague Conference in June.

Ambassador Miloš Pojar,
Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Prague"