(Washington, D.C., July 29, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We welcome the release of a State Department report on compliance by countries around the world with their commitments under the Terezin Declaration to provide restitution or compensation for property confiscated during the Holocaust or under communism. Forty-seven countries committed to these actions by signing on to the declaration at the June 2009 Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference. B’nai B’rith International, as a founding member of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, was present at the conference.
“As we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and more than 10 years after the adoption of the Terezin Declaration, the legacy of the Nazis’ mass looting and subsequent Communist-era nationalizations of such property, remains largely unaddressed in too many places,” said Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in a statement. “The Report details the critical work that remains to be done to provide a belated measure of justice to Holocaust survivors and their families, and to Jewish communities destroyed by the Holocaust.”
The report was released pursuant to the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, which was passed with bipartisan congressional support and became law in May 2018. In addition to cataloguing restitution efforts, the report details countries’ efforts to remember the Holocaust, improve Holocaust education and open archives. We applaud Congress and the State Department for making Holocaust restitution a priority of U.S. foreign policy. U.S. leadership is essential to the effort to secure justice for Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.