ESLI is launching the Immovable Property Restitution Study – Press Release

Press Release

ESLI publishes report on state of post-Holocaust restitution

Monday 24 April – The European Shoah Legacy Institute today publishes the Holocaust (Shoah) Immovable Property Restitution Study the most comprehensive study on the status of post-Holocaust restitution. The Study systematically examines all significant legislation passed by the 47 endorsing states of 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets since 1945.

ESLI Director Anezka Nekovarova said: “This thorough and historic report lays out in detail what has been achieved and what still remains to be done. As the report notes, ordinary laws are for ordinary events, but the Holocaust calls for extraordinary laws to address and properly compensate for the huge injustice that was inflicted on Jewish people and other persecuted groups.”

The Chairman of the ESLI Administrative Board Tomas Kafka notes: “The study is meant as a supportive tool which should help the states of the Terezin Declaration alleviate the hardship of our Jewish compatriots. Its main goal is to inspire their governments how to move further on the common way to some restored justice.”

ESLI was established in 2010 to monitor the signatory states’ progress and advocate for the principles enshrined in the Terezin Declaration. By publishing the Study, ESLI hopes Jewish and non-Jewish claimants, heirs, governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders will have a one- stop resource where all significant Holocaust restitution legislation and case law dealing with immovable property over the last 70 years has been compiled and analyzed. It also provides a much-needed and long-overdue resource for scholars of the Holocaust in particular and genocide scholars in general, as well as those researching and writing on the post-Holocaust era.

The Study will be presented at an international conference, Unfinished Justice: Restitution and Remembrance, which is being hosted at the European Parliament in Brussels this Wednesday (26 April). The conference is being conducted under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Antonio Tajani MEP, and is being organized by the European Alliance for Holocaust Survivors (EAHS), a coalition of Members of the European Parliament committed to issues impacting Holocaust Survivors, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) and ESLI, together with the European Jewish Congress and B’nai B’rith International as well as the Permanent Missions of the State of Israel, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom to the European Union and their respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Notes to Editors:

An executive summary and an overview of the report can be found through the following link

The ESLI Study was completed by a team led by Michael Bazyler, professor of law at Fowler School of Law, Chapman University, author and The 1939 Law Society Scholar in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, and included assistance from Terezin governments, stakeholders, pro bono attorneys, and experts in the field of property restitution.

The Study is 1265 pages long, including Executive Report, Country reports and governmental responses.

Press contacts:

Fiona Cumberland – [email protected] + 7880 473801

Jane Kerr – [email protected] +7920 542832