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April 23, 1993 - Image 23

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

........ • .

. . ......

Havel Discusses
Restitution

Prague (JTA) — Czech Pres-
ident Vaclav Havel has met
with Jewish leaders to
discuss proposed legislation
to return to the Jewish
community property that
was expropriated from it by
the Nazis or Communist
regime.
Mr. Havel, who was to
visit the United States this
week to attend the dedica-
tion of the U.S. Holocaust
Memorial Museum, met last
week with Chief Czech
Rabbi Karol Sidon and
representatives of the Czech
Federation of Jewish Com-
munities to discuss the legal,
economic and moral aspects
of the restitution bill, soon to
be submitted to Parliament.
Accompanied by leaders of
the Jewish community, Mr.
Havel visited a former Jew-
ish orphanage in Prague, to-
day an apartment bloc. It is
one of nearly 200 properties
claimed by the Jewish com-
munity and targeted to be
returned under the new
legislation.
They also went to see the
former synagogue in Bran-
dys, a town about 12 miles
from Prague, which had
been used for years as a
storehouse for medical sup-
plies.
The proposed legislation
was drafted specifically for
the return of synagogues,
cemeteries and other
buildings, which before
World War II belonged to
Jewish communities.
Currently, Czech restitu-
tion laws limit eligible
claims to property taken
after Feb. 25, 1948, the day
of the Communist takeover.
Czech authorities are loath
to push back this time limit
to before February 1948,
since it would open the
government up to claims
made by ethnic Germans,
who were forced to leave
Czechoslovakia and resettle
in Germany according to the
terms of the Potsdam
agreement of the Allied
Summit Conference in 1945.
Jewish leaders have pro-
posed that property robbed
from the Jewish com-
munities by the Nazis and
confiscated later by the
Communists should be
returned under special
legislation distinguishing
their claims from potential
claims by ethnic Germans.

You cannot find peace
anywhere save in your own
self.

—Martin Buber

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