JERUSALEM — Project HEART announced today that the number of claims received for restitution of Jewish owned property that was confiscated, looted, or forcibly sold during the Holocaust era has surpassed 160,000.
Deputy Minister of Senior Citizens Dr. Leah Nass: “The issue of identifying Jewish property is still a central challenge even 70 years after World War II. In order to promote this issue we need to put international pressure and do all that we can to obtain justice for the survivors, the Holocaust victims and their families.”
“Many Jewish Holocaust survivors had property confiscated, looted, or forcibly sold by the Nazis or their collaborators during the Holocaust era, and most have received no compensation for their lost assets,” stated Project HEART’s Executive Director, Bobby Brown. “Project HEART was created by the Government of Israel and is administrated by the Ministry of Senior Citizens and the Jewish Agency for Israel to act as an emissary on behalf of this precious group and their heirs,” added Brown.
In December 2011, due to the overwhelming response of Holocaust survivors and their heirs, the Government of Israel made the decision to extend the deadline for submitting Questionnaires to Project HEART. The deadline extension has allowed additional individuals to submit the basic necessary information needed in the struggle for restitution or compensation. Eventually, this information will be made available to Yad-Vashem so that the history, heritage, and sacrifice of all these families will never be forgotten.
Launched in late February 2011, Project HEART seeks to identify Jewish Holocaust victims and their heirs worldwide whose families owned real estate, movable property, immovable property, or intangible personal property that was confiscated, looted, or forcibly sold in countries governed or occupied by the Nazi forces or Axis powers during the Holocaust era. The Project has opened a number of initiatives to bring this issue to countries, companies, and the media to convince those who have not yet decided to do justice that the time has come for them to begin confronting this “last open issue of the Holocaust.”
“The large number of claims received and processed is not only an indication of the many Jewish owned properties that were looted or stolen during the Holocaust era, but is also a reminder of the significance of Project HEART to all those who have not been given the chance to receive compensation in the past,” stated U.S. Project Director, Anya Verkhovskaya. “We are continuing to encourage all those who may be eligible to submit the Questionnaire required for participation in Project HEART. With each person that comes forward to claim restitution for what is rightfully theirs, our collective voice grows louder and stronger in advocating on their behalf,” added Verkhovskaya.
The only limitation for application is if restitution or compensation has already been made to a victim (or the victim’s heirs) for a given asset after the Holocaust era.
For more information and to download/request or complete the Questionnaire online, visit www.heartwebsite.org
Source: Press Release