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 it a priority to urge Eastern European countries that have not already done so to pass effective restitution laws and to protect current restitution laws from amendments that would erode their effectiveness. Some countries – most notably Poland – have failed to do so. Given that thousands of Holocaust Survivors live in poverty, this failure to act is tragic.
Continuing diplomatic pressure on Eastern European countries that have evaded their responsibility to pass meaningful restitution laws, and protecting existing laws from erosion.