Heirs of Holocaust Victims
This article addresses the restoration of assets in Israel for heirs of Holocaust victims. All issues regarding the restitution of assets fall under the Israeli Ministry of Justice.
A History of Assets
Throughout the late 1800s and into the mid-1900s, many American and European Jews sought to invest in the Zionist immigration project to the land of Israel. As the Nazi regime rose to power, many more European Jews sought to protect their assets or make a future home in the land, buying homes, land, or investing in banks. In the early 2000s, it was established that billions of shekels of assets remain unclaimed in Israel. A law passed in 2006 established a company to manage and report on these assets. Thus, public registries exist listing as much information is known about the victims and properties.
Eligibility for Restoration of Assets
If you suspect or know that you are a descendant of a Holocaust victim who had assets in Israel, you can apply to have these assets reinstated. If the asset exists in a public registry, you must list this, along with supporting information. Additionally, various paperwork demonstrating connections to the Holocaust victim must be provided, including death, birth, or marriage certificates, along with wills or other documents.
This Series of Articles
This article is one in a short series where we delve into various issues around restitution. This includes a longer history of the assets than we discussed in this article, which you can find here. We also address how to apply, how long it takes, succession orders, choosing a lawyer, and more.
Advocate Michael Decker specializes in restitution law, and he has helped heirs of Holocaust victims with the application process. If you have questions or would like legal help, please contact us.