From The Algemeiner
While he witnesses a growing Jewish cultural revival in Poland, Ambassador David Peleg does not necessarily see parallel progress for the Holocaust survivors whose property claims are in his hands.
During an interview in New York with JointMedia News Service, Israel’s former ambassador to Poland and current director general of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) said he is “very much disappointed” by slow movement in the restitution of Eastern European Jewish property lost during the Holocaust. Establishing legal claims to that property—both communal and personal—and securing its return is the mission of the organization Peleg heads.
“We will have to see how things will continue—survivors don’t get younger,” Peleg says.
Much of WJRO’s work focuses on retrieving the property of “heirless” Jews. The organization’s establishment in 1993 followed the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
Peleg notes than an heir can approach a court, and if the usual demand for documentation can be met, property ownership can be established. Even though a legislative framework to pursue property claims has been established in several countries, the fact that so many archives were destroyed during the Holocaust means providing the necessary documentation can prove a daunting or impossible task, Peleg cautions.
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