ON FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH, SCHUMER ANNOUNCES SENATE PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN BILL TO HELP HOLOCAUST VICTIMS & FAMILIES ACHIEVE SOME JUSTICE; BILL WILL FURTHER ADVANCE EFFORTS AT RESTITUTION OF ASSETS STOLEN BY THE NAZI REGIME FROM VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST; SENATOR CALLS ON HOUSE TO PASS LEGISLATION
Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act Will Help Holocaust Survivors & Families of Holocaust Victims By Requiring the State Dept. Report on Progress of The Return of or Restitution for Nazi-Confiscated Assets
Schumer: JUST Act is a Drop of Justice in What Was An Ocean of Injustice
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced Senate passage of the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, which will assist Holocaust survivors and the families of Holocaust victims by requiring the State Department to report on certain countries compliance with Holocaust-era assets. Schumer is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan bill, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). Schumer is now urging the House of Representatives to swiftly pass this piece of legislation.
“Senate passage of the JUST Act is a drop of justice in what was an ocean of injustice, as it will ultimately help in the restitution of Nazi-confiscated assets stolen during the Holocaust,” said Senator Schumer. “Passing this bill makes eminent sense and was the right thing to do, especially on this night because the memories of those who perished in the Holocaust will always shine brightly like Hanukkah candles. Now, I am calling on my colleagues in the House of Representatives to swiftly pass this legislation and provide Holocaust survivors and family members of the victims with some measure of justice.”
More than seventy years after the Holocaust, the restitution of Jewish communal, private, and heirless property in Central and Eastern Europe remains unresolved. Schumer explained that the Nazis not only sought to kill Jews in Europe, they sought to destroy their heritage: temples were destroyed, books were burned and art and property was stolen. Today, real properties confiscated by the Nazis and their collaborators have not yet been returned, nor has compensation been provided to the rightful owners or their heirs.
The JUST Act will build on the international Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets and Related Issues of 2009, which affirms that the protection of property rights is an essential component of a democratic society based on the rule of law and recognizes the importance of restituting or compensating Holocaust-related confiscations made during the Holocaust-era between 1933-45. Unfortunately, many nations that endorsed this declaration, including many of our NATO allies, have not fully addressed the restitution of Jewish communal, private and heirless property.
The JUST Act permanently amends current law to require the State Department to report on certain countries’ compliance with and progress toward the goals of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets, as well as on what actions those countries are taking to resolve the claims of U.S. citizens. This will enhance on-going U.S. efforts to urge Central and Eastern European countries to achieve progress on this issue and will help build on America’s commitment to ensuring justice for Holocaust victims and their families.
The JUST Act has received strong support from organizations across the country including World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), American Jewish Committee (AJC), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), J Street, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), B’nai B’rith International, HIAS refugee assistance organization, National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation in Milwaukee.
The JUST Act was introduced by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and is also cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John McCain (R-AZ), Ed Markey (D-MA), John Thune (R-SD), Gary Peters (D-MI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Todd Young (R-IN), Tim Scott (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ben Cardin (D-MD).