Mr. Speaker, as the Nazis ravaged Europe, confiscation of property was just one of the many injustices Holocaust victims endured. In the almost 75 years since World War II ended, helping to repair the wrongs inflicted by the Nazis by restoring the property of millions of people who had their lives torn apart has proven a difficult and challenging problem.

 

The 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference addressed the ongoing injustices created by the Holocaust, including guidance related to restitution of property wrongfully seized. However, among the 46 signers to this declaration, including the United States, there are vast disparities in the degree to which the laws and policies of each country fulfill these principles to compensate survivors.

 

This act will help hold governments accountable that have fallen short of their commitment to these important principles. This bill requires the State Department to assess the laws and policies regarding the return or restitution for wrongfully seized Holocaust era assets by countries that participated in the 2009 Holocaust Era Assets Conference.

 

This bill states that it is the sense of Congress that the Secretary should continue to report to Congress on Holocaust era assets.

 

And that’s just the way it is.