Heirless Jewish assets to be used for aid to survivors

By Cnaan Liphshiz

East European nations yesterday stated for the first time that heirless Jewish property should be used to aid needy Holocaust survivors. The statement was the final and joint resolution of the Holocaust Era Assets Conference, which ended yesterday in Prague.

“In some states heirless property could serve as a basis for addressing the material necessities of needy Holocaust survivors,” said the 10-page declaration, signed by 46 countries including Poland, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.

Retired diplomat Reuven Merhav, who put together Israel’s delegation, told Haaretz the declaration was “a historic and great achievement for Israel,” which secured all of Israel’s goals for the conference. Though the document is not legally binding, he said, “it sets a norm.”

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