In 2009, Canada and 45 other countries committed to the Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Era Assets. It calls for just and fair solutions regarding private, communal and heirless property stolen from Jews during WWII, urging governments to “make every effort to provide for the restitution of former Jewish communal and religious property.”
Canadian governments across party lines have since made a priority of urging Eastern European countries that have not already done so to pass effective restitution laws. Some countries – most notably Poland – have failed to do so. This is a tragic failure to act, given that thousands of Holocaust Survivors live in poverty.
Canada should continue leveling diplomatic pressure on countries in Eastern Europe that have evaded their responsibility to pass meaningful restitution laws.