New York, NY, June 30, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended 46 nations that are signatories to the "Terezin Declaration," which establishes clear guidelines for the restitution of private and communal assets forcibly seized during the Holocaust.
The League praised the declaration, ratified at the Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference, for its commitment to allocate some of the recovered assets to needy Holocaust survivors.
"Now is exactly the right time to issue such a declaration because there is still the opportunity to achieve results for those who personally lost assets and for needy survivors of the Holocaust," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "The international community in recent years has demonstrated a commitment to confronting anti-Semitism and to Holocaust education and commemoration, and this is an important step in that process."
Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor who in the past raised questions about the manner in which some pursued reclaiming assets, said the latest restitution efforts were balanced by ongoing efforts to educate the public, particularly in Europe, about the evils of the Nazi regime and its genocidal policies.
"My earlier fears about the intense focus on restitution, and that focus obscuring the moral challenge of educating future generations about the Holocaust, have been eased by the accomplishments of recent years," Mr. Foxman said. "Instead of the search for plundered assets overwhelming the evil of the Final Solution, each now buttresses the other."
The Terezin Declaration -- named after wartime Jewish ghetto in northern Prague -- also provides social help for impoverished survivors.