Prague, – The U.S. Department of State has been concerned about the recently founded European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI) seated in the Czech Republic, U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Douglas Davidson, currently on a visit to Prague, has told CTK.
“There is some concern about what is happening with the ESLI because there is not a lot of visible activity at the moment,” said Davidson, whose office is a part of the Department of State.
He said it was the main purpose of his visit to the Czech Republic to meet people from the ESLI and its founder, the Czech Foreign Ministry, and check the situation.
Davidson admitted that the United States had not yet provided the finances it promised to send to the institute. He said the first part of the money would be handed over “fairly soon”.
The ESLI was founded in January 2010 based on the Terezin Declaration. The U.S. pledged to annually contribute $150,000 to its activities for five years. The Czech Foreign Ministry annually earmarks eight million crowns to the ESLI. The Terezin Declaration was signed by EU representatives in mid-2009. Further countries have joined it since then. Among others, the declaration demands the restitution of private property taken away from Holocaust survivors.