The Israeli government and the Jewish Agency together have launched a new project to help restore the stolen assets of Holocaust victims and their heirs.
"Project HEART" is set to be formally introduced at a ceremony to be held at the offices of the Jewish Agency Sunday afternoon in Jerusalem, just hours before the start of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day at sunset.
The new campaign, which stands for the global Holocaust Era Assets Restitution Taskforce, was developed in cooperation with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Ministry of Senior Citizens.
“Ensuring the victims of the Holocaust at least as a small measure of justice for the property that was brutally stolen, looted and expropriated from them under the Nazi regime, is a cause that demands our utmost dedication so that these people and their heirs are properly compensated,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency.
“Representing the interests of Jews all around the world, the State of Israel views this effort as our responsibility as a nation and as a people.”
Project HEART will shortly release a database listing more than half a million pieces of property owned by Jews in pre-war Europe, according to the Jewish Agency. The database, which will be made available for public search, will allow families to identify property that had belonged to loved ones before the Holocaust so the restitution process can be started properly.
“Our strength and determination come from the heroism of the victims of the Holocaust and the survivors and their tremendous contributions to Israel and the Jewish people,” said Bobby Brown, executive director of Project HEART.
“Now is the time for us to do our utmost to give these heroes some of the compensation that has been denied them for so long.”