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Rubio, Baldwin Introduce Legislation to Help Secure Restitution for Assets Stolen During Holocaust

Feb 27, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today introduced the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, bipartisan legislation that would improve efforts assisting survivors and the families of victims of the Holocaust who are seeking the return of or restitution for assets stolen during the Holocaust. The bill would require the State Department to report on certain European countries’ compliance with the goals of the 2009 Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets, and what actions those countries are taking to resolve the claims of U.S. citizens.

“Seventy years after World War II, when Nazis and their collaborators illegally confiscated Jews’ property in Central and Eastern Europe, this theft remains a largely unresolved issue and a source of lasting pain for many Holocaust survivors and their heirs,” said Rubio. “This bipartisan legislation will help address this lasting injustice from a dark chapter in human history by facilitating the restitution of Jewish communal, private and heirless property. American leadership on this issue is vital, and I’m proud to join Senator Baldwin in introducing this bill.”

“We’re taking bipartisan action to ensure justice, which has been put off for far too long,” said Baldwin. “Tragically, we are losing survivors every day, and it is my sincere hope that this legislation, by shining a spotlight and solidifying this issue as an American foreign policy priority, will spur action in countries that are falling short of their obligations, ultimately resulting in a measure of justice for these individuals who have waited far too long.”

The JUST Act is 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), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). U.S. Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced the bill in the House.

Groups supporting the JUST Act include the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), B’nai B’rith International, HIAS refugee assistance organization, and the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry.