Applying for Holocaust Victims’ Assets
This article addresses applying for Holocaust victims’ assets in Israel. This is relevant if you have family who passed away in the Holocaust but had purchased assets in Israel prior to this, or if they passed this on to someone else to hold the assets in their absence. There are numerous assets for which one can receive restitution, ranging from art, property (building/apartment/lot of land), or securities, among others. All issues pertaining to Israeli restitution law fall under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Ministry of Justice.
Applying for Holocaust Victims’ Assets in Israel
It is possible to apply for restitution of assets on your own or with the help of a lawyer who specializes in these cases. In order to apply, if you have identified an asset listed by the Holocaust Restitution Company of Israel, you can apply directly through a form listed alongside the asset in the registry. However, if you have identified an asset which is not currently listed, you can apply, while also providing as much information as possible about the asset.
The application form will request an explanation of your connection and right to the asset. In some cases, our clients hold documents demonstrating proof of ownership in their ancestry. In other cases, clients have seen supporting evidence that would prove their right to the asset, or they have heard about this from someone else. In some cases, our clients also come to us with assumptions of their right to the asset.
In order to prove this, you need to provide official documentation, including birth, marriage, or death certificates that prove the connection to the victim or holder of the asset, whether that is a will, probate, or other documents. It is also important to consider whether the victim or holder of the asset had any partners or heirs to whom the asset may also be promised.
The Length of the Process
The application process and determination of restitution are lengthy. This can range from a few months to a few years. One must submit an application, wait for a response, decide to accept or appeal the decision, and a number of other steps.
This Series of Articles
This article is one in a longer series on applying for Holocaust victims’ assets in Israel. We also address other topics, for example, further explaining the duration and steps of the process, succession orders, how to decide if one should work with a restitution lawyer, and more.
Advocate Michael Decker of Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh has helped numerous clients apply for restitution over the years. Please contact us for legal assistance.