Wiesenthal Center Hails Secretary of State Pompeo’s Call For Holocaust Restitution for Aging Survivors
July 29, 2020
The Simon Wiesenthal Center thanked US Secretary Pompeo for calling on European countries to restitute Jewish properties destroyed by the Nazis and later nationalized by communist governments. “It is shameful but critically important that the US has to raise this issue 75 years after the Shoah and decades after the demise of the Communist Iron Curtain”, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean and Director of its Global Social Action. “Secretary Pompeo is right when he declared during a speech on the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST Act), that ‘Given the advanced age of Holocaust survivors around the world – many of whom live in or near poverty – the need for action is urgent’”. (https://www.state.gov/key-topics-office-of-the-special-envoy-for-holocaust-issues/)
Mark Weitzman, the SWC’s Director of Government Affairs noted that, “This congressionally mandated report meticulously documents the record on restitution to Holocaust survivors in 46 countries. It commends countries that have made good faith efforts while naming those, such as Poland and Russia that have blocked efforts to allow survivors and the Jewish community to recover stolen property and assets. At a time when significant numbers of Holocaust survivors are living in poverty it is even more shameful that the recent Polish Presidential elections featured antisemitic attacks on the report.”
“We commend the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues, Cherrie Daniels and her staff who produced this report. It reflects the ongoing bipartisan commitment of the US government to try to ensure some measure of restitution and security for Holocaust survivors and their communities,” Weitzman concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).