Jan Meisels Allen
The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) signed an agreement with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on Holocaust-era property restitution. The agreement was signed by the government of Luxembourg and the Jewish community of Luxembourg, together with WJRO and the Luxembourg Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah.
The agreement provides symbolic financial acknowledgment to Holocaust survivors who were in Luxembourg during the Holocaust. It commits dedicated resources to Holocaust memorialization, remembrance, research, and education. It also addresses key restitution issues including dormant bank accounts and insurance, as well as looted art.
It is estimated that during the Nazi occupation, three-quarters of the 3,907 Jews living in Luxembourg, were not citizens of the country. Government reports published in Luxembourg in 2009 and 2015 recognize that Jews who were not citizens did not receive compensation for the confiscation of their property during the Holocaust. After World War II, around 1,500 Jews returned to Luxembourg and today, about 1,200 reside in the country.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg government agreed to the following:
The Government of Luxembourg has agreed to:
● Provide one million Euros as a symbolic acknowledgement of support to Holocaust survivors from Luxembourg. Funds will be transferred to the World Jewish Restitution Organization to be distributed through the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
● Purchase and renovate Cinqfontaines, where Luxembourg Jewish victims were gathered and then transported to death camps. Luxembourg will develop Cinqfontaines into a fitting place to memorialize Holocaust victims and to educate future generations. This project is estimated to cost over 25 million Euros.
● Contribute 120,000 Euros per year for 30 years to the Luxembourg Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah to further Holocaust remembrance and other statutory purposes.
● Continue to support Le Comité pour la mémoire de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale (The Committee for the Remembrance of the Second World War) with an increased budget.
● Establish and fund independent research, provenance research, and work on the national archives to provide access to files related to the occupation of Luxembourg and the Holocaust.
● Enhance collaboration on the development of a national antisemitism strategy.
● Identify and restitute Holocaust-era dormant bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, and insurance policies through an independent audit to be overseen by a joint committee composed of government officials as well as representatives of WJRO and the Jewish community.
● Conduct provenance research in accordance with the Washington Conference Principles and the Terezin Declaration to identify looted art and other cultural property to be returned in accordance with these declarations.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee