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Paul Valery
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Jewish groups urge Poland, Latvia and Romania to deal with Holocaust-era property restitution

World Jewish Restitution Organization President Ronald Lauder and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. Photo: AFP.
 PRAGUE, Nov 29 - During a conference held in Prague this week to review progress in respect to the restitution of Jewish property seized during and after World War II, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) urged Central and Eastern European countries to do what is right and return, or pay fair compensation, the property to the survivors from whom it was wrongfully taken.
"While progress has taken place since the fall of Communism and subsequent breakup of the Soviet Union, there remains an urgent need to help the tens of thousands of elderly Holocaust victims and their heirs whose property claims remain unsatisfied," said WJRO President Ronald Lauder, who is also the president of the World Jewish Congress.
Lauder remarked that Poland, Latvia, and Romania were particular areas of concern. "After more than two decades of foot dragging, the WJRO is appalled that the government in Warsaw now adamantly refuses to offer any legislative gestures to address languishing private property claims. WJRO calls for Latvia to finally enact appropriate legislation for the return of Jewish communal property, concluding many years of discussion. We are disappointed that Romania, which did enact restitution laws, has failed to address the bureaucratic delays that have stalled the restitution and compensation process," said Lauder.
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