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May 27, 1994 - Image 68

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-27

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

The Julius Chajes Concert Series

presents

THE CHESTER STRING
QUARTET

Czech Parliament
Returns Property

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Performing the music of
Haydn, Chajes,
Penderecki and Schubert

Sunday, June 5, 1994 3:30 p.m.

at

The Jewish Community Center
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General Admission: $10.00 Senior Citizens and Students: $8.00

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Find It All In
The Jewish News
Classifieds
Call 354-5959

Prague (JTA) — After lengthy
debate, the Czech Parliament
enacted legislation calling for
the return of property seized
from individuals during World
War H.
As a result of the new legisla-
tion, citizens of the Czech Re-
public having their permanent
residence in the country are en-
titled to submit their restitution
claims for property currently held
by the Czech state or municipal-
ities.
Owners of property that was
privatized after 1991 will receive
financial compensation. Agricul-
tural land and forests were not
subject to the new law.
The legislation was passed two
months after Czech President Va-
clav Havel joined the local Jew-
ish leadership in criticizing the
failure of Parliament to pass a
similar restitution bill.
In April, Jewish groups
reached agreements with the gov-
ernments of Hungary and Slo-
vakia for the restitution of Jewish
property seized during the Holo-
caust.
Czech Jews, whose property
was confiscated by the Nazi oc-
cupiers during World War H,
were entitled under postwar leg-
islation to reclaim their estates,
which had been taken over by the
Czech state after the Nazis' de-
feat.
But in many cases, the post-
war Czech authorities — who
were at the time already under
strong Communist or nationalist
influence — refused to comply
with Jewish claims and pro-
tracted the proceedings until the
Communist takeover in 1948.
Following the takeover, claims
for the restoration of so-called
"capitalist" property were ren-
dered impossible.
Under the new law, some 100-
200 individuals — mainly the
heirs of the original Jewish own-
ers — will be entitled to submit
their restitution claims.
Restitution claims for Jewish
communal property held by the
Czech Republic —including syn-
agogues, cemeteries and other es-
tates, such as the collections of
the Prague Jewish Museum —
will not be affected by the new
law. Restitution claims for those
properties will fall under sepa-
rate legal provisions.
The return of former Jewish
communal property held by
Czech municipalities will not be
obligatory under the new law, but
will depend on the good will of lo-
cal authorities.
The restitution legislation ex-
cluded the claims of those people

Vaclav Havel:
Critical of delay.

— Jewish and non-Jewish alike
— who do not reside permanent-
ly in the country or gave up their
Czech citizenship.
The vote in Parliament to en-
act the legislation was 145
deputies in favor, three opposed
and 21 abstentions.

Arms Talks
In Qatar

Jerusalem (JTA) — Amid state-
ments welcoming them to the
Persian Gulf emirate, Israeli ne-
gotiators took their place among
37 other delegations for the start
of multilateral talks on arms con-
trol in Qatar.
"How good it is to see Israeli
and Arab delegates sitting to-
gether here. It augurs well for
peace," British Parliament mem-
ber Greville Janner said at the
start of the meeting.
The Qatari foreign minister
called for a balancing of Israeli
and Arab interests, especially in
matters relating to Israel's pre-
sent and future nuclear capabil-
ity.
If this was not done, he
stressed, it would result in a new
regional arms race.
The Israeli-Palestinian agree-
ment, he said, "gives us hope for
other agreements to come in oth-
er parts of the area."
The Israeli delegation was led
by David Ivri, director-general of
the Defense Ministry and a for-
mer commander of the Israeli air
force. The delegation was ac-
companied by a contingent of Is-
raeli journalists.
While the Qatari authorities
were eager to make the Israelis'
stay an enjoyable one, security
surrounding them was very tight.
Israel was one of 13 Middle
East countries attending the
talks, along with representatives
from 25 other states.

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