Jewish Community for Properties of Holocaust Victims to be Reimbursed by Latvia #announcements #holocaust #latvia
Jan Meisels Allen
Two synagogues and a Jewish bath in Aizpute, Latvia, in the 1930s are
now a community center. When the Soviet Union fell, most Jewish
owners had died in the Holocaust, and many buildings became state property.
Credit...Museum Jews in Latvia
On February 10, 2022 the Latvian Parliament adopted a law on reimbursement of the value of property not recovered during restitution to the Latvian Jewish Community. This awarded 40 million euros, about $46 million, to the Latvian Jewish community “to eliminate the historical unjust consequences” resulting from the Holocaust and activities implemented by the Nazi regime and activities under Soviet Communist rule, according to a news release after the bill was approved. The press release is available at: https://www.saeima.lv/en. It is also available in Latvian and French…go to https://www.saeima.lv/lv/aktualitates/saeimas-zinas/30599- in the right side of the burgundy ribbon are the options for reading the release in one of the aforementioned languages. To show the law passed see: https://titania.saeima.lv/LIVS13/saeimalivs13.nsf/webSasaiste?OpenView&restricttocategory=1159/Lp13
Prior to World War ll, Jewish religious organizations, the community, and its members owned schools, orphanages, hospitals, and houses of culture. During the Latvian occupation of Nazi Germany from 1941 to 1945, approximately 75,000 Jews - Latvian citizens - were murdered.
“Jews lost hard-to-determine amounts of private property. Due to the destruction of the heirs of the former owners and the successors of the rights of religious organizations and communities as a result of the war, many real estates could not be recovered in the order of denationalization, according to the annotation of the draft law.
The annotation to the draft law emphasizes that the Republic of Latvia is not to blame for the deprivation of Jewish property and the Holocaust, but it would be ethical and fair for the state to compensate the Latvian Jewish community for real estate that became the property of the Republic of Latvia. their real owners or heirs….In total, the damage caused by the illegal alienation of real estate to the Jewish community is more than 47 million euros. They were calculated by identifying the property belonging to the Jewish community on June 16, 1940 and based on the cadastral value of real estate at the end of 2018, it is noted in the annotation of the draft law…
With this law, the compensation of the Latvian Jewish community will be final, and thus any other claim rights of the Latvian Jewish community and the Riga Jewish Religious Congregation for the expropriated real estate will be terminated.”
The law stipulates that the reimbursement will start in 2023 and be completed by the end of 2032. Reimbursement will be included in the annual state budget law.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee