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THE

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THE

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HOLOCAUST REPARATIONS
CHRONOLOGY


CHRONOLOGY
Holocaust Reparations
Should survivors seek compensation for Nazi crimes?
CQ Researcher, Kenneth Jost , March 26, 1999 – Volume 9, Issue 12

About 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, but Nazi Germany's war against European Jews also had a financial side. The Nazis confiscated homes and personal belongings of Jews, took over Jewish-owned businesses and looted artworks from Jewish collectors. Now, some Holocaust survivors and heirs are seeking restitution for financial losses. In one case, Swiss banks have agreed to pay $1.25 billion to heirs of Holocaust victims who opened accounts before their deaths. Other survivors are seeking payment on insurance policies, return of stolen art or compensation for forced labor in German factories. Some say the litigation will provide a measure of justice for Holocaust survivors, but others fear the efforts create a misleading picture about the nature of history's worst genocidal slaughter.


1933-1945  

Germany's National Socialist (Nazi) government carries out an anti-Jewish campaign
that begins with restrictive economic legislation and ends with the Holocaust.

1939-1945

 Germany amasses vast stores of looted artworks from occupied countries and accumulates millions of dollars' worth of gold in Swiss banks. Hundreds of thousands of Jews and other Europeans are forced to work in German factories; an estimated 11 million people are killed
in concentration camps, ghettos or elsewhere, including about 6 million Jews.

_____________________________

1946-1950s

Holocaust survivors seek out new homelands; Germany agrees to pay reparations
and to compensate survivors; other efforts at restitution falter.

1946

 Switzerland signs an agreement with the United States and other Allies to turn over Nazi assets; after protracted negotiations, the Swiss pay $4.7 million in 1952.

1948

Israel is established as an independent nation and absorbs
an estimated 500,000 Jewish refugees from Europe.

1951-1953

West Germany and Israel negotiate an agreement for payment of about $845 million in reparations over 12-14 years; West Germany also enacts a Restitution Law, providing compensation to Holocaust survivors; East Germany refuses to establish a similar program.

(See also Wikipedia)

Mid-1950s

Swiss banks and insurers give government inquiries limited information
about Holocaust victims' accounts and policies.

1990s

Holocaust survivors and heirs bring a new wave of claims for restitution and recovery
of art objects.

1991

World Jewish Restitution Organization founded to channel aid to
Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union.

1995

Investigative reports in European and U.S. news media document role of Swiss banks
in financing German war effort and failure to make restitution to Holocaust survivors.

OCTOBER 1996

 Class-action suit filed in federal court in New York City against Swiss banks,
seeking funds from “dormant accounts” of Holocaust victims.

MARCH 1997

Class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in New York against European insurance companies
on behalf of heirs of Holocaust victims.

MAY 1997

U.S. State Department report on “Nazi gold” sharply criticizes Swiss bankers and government; also acknowledges U.S. failure to press Swiss for restitution after war.

JUNE 1998

Association of Art Museum Directors issues guidelines on looted-art cases,
calling for stepped-up research to establish “provenance” of artworks
and use of mediation to resolve ownership disputes.

AUGUST 1998

U.S. relatives of Holocaust victims win settlement in case of repurchased Degas painting looted by Nazis; the first Holocaust accord of its kind calls for the painting to be donated to the Art Institute of Chicago, with the family to receive half the appraised value.

SEPTEMBER 1998

Swiss government agrees to pay $1.25 billion to settle claims against Swiss banks; detailed proposal expected to be submitted in March to federal court in New York.

NOVEMBER 1998

News reports link German subsidiaries of General Motors and Ford
to use of forced labor during World War II; both automakers deny aiding Nazi war effort.
The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims is established,
headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.

DECEMBER 1998

United States hosts 44-nation conference in Washington on Holocaust-era assets.

FEBRUARY 1999

Twelve German companies pledge about $1.7 billion to compensate “slave-labor” victim



‘I Felt Elated.' Holocaust Survivors Make Gains in Latest Negotiations With German Government
Time, 2017


As seen from the above in the 1946-1950s Germany agrees to pay reparations
and to compensate survivors; other efforts at restitution falter.  The next 50 years saw the agreements of some further reparations.  Subsequently further national legislation was passed.  Examples are as follows:

Senate passes bill to help Holocaust survivors obtain restitution
The Times of Israel,  JTA, 12 December 2017

JUST Act requires US State Department to report on progress of certain European countries toward returning confiscated or transferred assets


Poland freezes Holocaust survivors' property restitution bill
Itamar Eichner, Associated Press, 02.15.18

73 years after World War Two ended, restitution for lost Jewish property has not yet been regulated in Poland, with new bill dealing with issue put on hold, possibly due to 'death camp law'; 'Survivors can't wait,' says Jewish organization; Polish Senate speaker also appealed to Poles living abroad to report to the authorities any statements hurting 'Poland's good name.'


Compensation and Restitution for Holocaust victims in France

Memorial of the Shoah


Could this Bill put an end to time limit on Holocaust restitution claims?

The original legislation made it impossible for families to claim property after November 2019
Jewish Chronicle (UK), March 14 2018


Notice Regarding Holocaust Deportation Claims Program Under U.S.-France Agreement
US State Department (probably March 4 2019)

We are pleased to announce that the Department of State will soon be making additional payments to individuals with approved claims under the under the "U.S.-France Agreement on Compensation for Certain Victims of Holocaust-Related Deportation from France Who Are Not Covered by French Programs.

In addition, the Office of the Special Envoy: