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Date: 2017
Abstract: The Holocaust (Shoah) Immovable Property Restitution Study is the first-ever comprehensive
compilation of all significant legislation passed since 1945 by the 47 states that participated in
the 2009 Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference and endorsed the 2009 Terezin Declaration
that came out of the Prague conference.

The Terezin Declaration (and its companion document, the 2010 Guidelines and Best Practices,
endorsed by 43 countries) focuses in substantial part on the treatment of immovable (real)
property restitution: private, communal, and heirless property. The Study examined private,
communal, and heirless property as discrete components of each country’s restitution efforts
from 1944 to 2016.

Russia endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009, but declined to endorse the 2010
Guidelines and Best Practices. In 2012, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that “the
[Terezin] declaration does not contain principles that are essential to our country. We
consider it important to deal with these issues on the basis of post-war settlement
principles fixed in the Yalta and Potsdam conferences of the Allied powers. We would
like to emphasize that it’s necessary to regard the Holocaust era as fixed in the
declaration, which means from 1933-1945.”

As part of the European Shoah Legacy Institute’s Immovable Property Restitution Study,
a Questionnaire covering past and present restitution regimes for private, communal and
heirless property was sent to all 47 Terezin Declaration governments in 2015. As of 13
December 2016, no response from Russia has been received
Date: 2017
Abstract: The Holocaust (Shoah) Immovable Property Restitution Study is the first-ever comprehensive
compilation of all significant legislation passed since 1945 by the 47 states that participated in
the 2009 Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference and endorsed the 2009 Terezin Declaration
that came out of the Prague conference.

The Terezin Declaration (and its companion document, the 2010 Guidelines and Best Practices,
endorsed by 43 countries) focuses in substantial part on the treatment of immovable (real)
property restitution: private, communal, and heirless property. The Study examined private,
communal, and heirless property as discrete components of each country’s restitution efforts
from 1944 to 2016.

Poland endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009. In 2010, 43 of the countries that
endorsed the Terezin Declaration approved nonbinding Guidelines and Best Practices for
the Restitution and Compensation of Immovable (Real) Property Confiscated or
Otherwise Wrongfully Seized by the Nazi, Fascists and Their Collaborators during the
Holocaust (Shoah) Era between 1933-1945, Including the Period of World War II
(“Terezin Best Practices”). Poland initially agreed to the Terezin Best Practices but then
withdrew its support.

Poland is one of a handful of countries with a government office dedicated to Jewish
Diaspora and post-Holocaust issues. As of March 2016, Mr. Sebastian Rejak holds the
post of Special Envoy of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs for Relations with the
Jewish Diaspora.

As part of the European Shoah Legacy Institute’s Immovable Property Restitution Study,
a Questionnaire covering past and present restitution regimes for private, communal and
heirless property was sent to all 47 Terezin Declaration governments in 2015. As of 13
December 2016, no response from Poland has been received.
Date: 2017
Date: 2017
Abstract: The Holocaust (Shoah) Immovable Property Restitution Study is the first-ever comprehensive
compilation of all significant legislation passed since 1945 by the 47 states that participated in
the 2009 Prague Holocaust Era Assets Conference and endorsed the 2009 Terezin Declaration
that came out of the Prague conference.

The Terezin Declaration (and its companion document, the 2010 Guidelines and Best Practices,
endorsed by 43 countries) focuses in substantial part on the treatment of immovable (real)
property restitution: private, communal, and heirless property. The Study examined private,
communal, and heirless property as discrete components of each country’s restitution efforts
from 1944 to 2016.

The Czech Republic endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009 and the Guidelines and
Best Practices in 2010.
The Czech Republic is one of a handful of countries with a government office dedicated
to Jewish Diaspora or Post-Holocaust issues. As of 2015, Ambassador Antonín Hradílek
is the Czech Republic’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues and Combat of
Antisemitism. His predecessor was Ambassador Jiri Šitler.
As part of the European Shoah Legacy Institute’s Immovable Property Restitution Study,
a Questionnaire covering past and present restitution regimes for private, communal and
heirless property was sent to all 47 Terezin Declaration governments in 2015.
Ambassador Jiri Šitler, the former Czech Republic Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues
and Combat of Antisemitism, reviewed earlier drafts of this report and provided valuable
comments.
Author(s): Woolfson, Shivaun
Date: 2013
Abstract: Once regarded as a vibrant centre of intellectual, cultural and spiritual Jewish life, Lithuania was home to 240,000 Jews prior to the Nazi invasion of 1941. By war's end, less than 20,000 remained. Today, 4,000 Jews reside there, among them 108 survivors from the camps and ghettos and a further 70 from the Partisans and Red Army. Against a backdrop of ongoing Holocaust denial and a recent surge in anti-Semitic sentiment, this thesis presents the history and experiences of a group of elderly survivors in modern-day Vilnius through the lens of their stories and memories, their special places and their biographical objects. Incorporating interdisciplinary elements of cultural anthropology, social geography, psychology, narrative and sensory ethnography, it is informed, at its core, by an overtly spiritual approach. Drawing on the essentially Hasidic belief that everything in the material world is imbued with sacred essence and that we, as human beings, have the capacity through our actions to release that essence, it explores the points of intersection where the individual and the collective collide, illuminating how history is lived from the inside. Glimpses of the personal, typically absent from the historical record, are afforded prominence here: a bottle of perfume tucked into a pocket before fleeing the ghetto, a silent promise made beside a mass grave, a pair of shoes fashioned from parachute material in the forest. By tapping the material for meaning, a more embodied, emplaced, experiential level of knowing, deeper and richer than that achieved through traditional life history (oral testimony and written documents) methods, can emerge. In moving beyond words and gathering a bricolage of story, legend, artefact, document, monument and landscape, this research suggests a multidimensional historiography that is of particular relevance in grasping the lived reality of survivors in Lithuania where only the faintest traces of a once thriving Jewish heritage now remain.
Author(s): Woolfson, Shivaun
Date: 2014

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