Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities Calls for Independent Commission for Study of Cultural Assets # announcements #holocaust
Jan Meisels Allen
The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG/FCSI) [https://www.swissjews.ch/en/ - whose website is in German, French and English] has called on the Swiss government to designate so-called “escape property” as “cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution.” It has also called for the appointment of an independent study commission for the study of cultural assets.
According to the SIG/FCSI, the outdated assumption still persists that people fleeing the Nazi regime sold their works of art at market prices and without need. Thus, many still assume today – often wrongly – that a fair deal was struck between the buyer and the seller.
As reported in EuroJewish Congress, “In 1998, the Washington Declaration was signed by 44 states. It is a legally non-binding agreement that seeks to ensure that works of art confiscated by the Nazi regime are found and returned.
Likewise, the signatory states have undertaken to take the necessary steps to reach fair and just solutions. In recent years, the Washington Declaration has made it possible for well over a thousand paintings and art objects from some twenty states to be restituted to their owners or their heirs.”
*IAJGS Records Access Alert reported on the Bührle Foundation in another posting on October 19, 2021 which can be found in Record Access Alert archives—see below how to access the archives.
The SIG/FCS also demands that possible so-called “flight property” in Swiss museums and private collections be comprehensively investigated and, if claims are justified, restituted accordingly. The institutions concerned must actively and increasingly contribute to identifying and locating “cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution”. In doing so, the examination of the individual case would be decisive.
To read more see:
To read the previous postings about Nazi looted art, holocaust, cultural assets and more, go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/private/records-access-alerts/. You must be registered to access the archives. To register go to: http://lists.iajgs.org/mailman/listinfo/records-access-alerts and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical organization with whom you are affiliated You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee