The Plunder of Jewish Property During the Holocaust: Confronting European History

Overview

The campaign for the restitution of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust has touched a raw nerve within European society, bringing many nations to confront their wartime past. Together with the end of the Cold War and generational change, the campaign has created a need to reevaluate conventional historical truths.

Following an unprecedented media campaign, pressure from Jewish organizations, and public opinion, more than 40 European commissions were established to ...

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Overview

The campaign for the restitution of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust has touched a raw nerve within European society, bringing many nations to confront their wartime past. Together with the end of the Cold War and generational change, the campaign has created a need to reevaluate conventional historical truths.

Following an unprecedented media campaign, pressure from Jewish organizations, and public opinion, more than 40 European commissions were established to investigate their fellow countrymen's behavior during the war and to ascertain how stolen property was dealt with in its aftermath.

The Plunder of Jewish Property During the Holocaust brings together a range of distinguished international experts to examine the major cases concerning restitution in several countries, covering specific issues such as Nazi gold, wartime theft of works of art, and the ownership of dormant accounts in Swiss banks. The contributors incorporate insights from diverse disciplines such as international law, economics, history, and political science which, taken as a whole, make clear that some chapters of European history will have to be rewritten.

With a preface by Edgar Bronfman and Israel Singer

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This useful compilation of essays serves as an introduction and guide to the complexities arising from the theft of Jewish property during WWII...This anthology belongs in every library."

-Choice,

Booknews
This collection provides a cross-section of recent work by a diverse and international group of contributors, all of whom are involved in sorting out this complex issue in some capacity<-->several are on commissions on restitution, the rest have authored books or studies on the Nazi looting. The essays offer compelling stories and commentary on the looting, the national myths that disguised it until recently, the economic results to Germany and others, issues of restitution in Eastern Europe, German assets in Switzerland, the legal perspective, Sweden's financial links to Nazi Germany, and the involvement in theft of Norway, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, and Italy. Beker is director of international affairs of the World Jewish Congress and the Israel Office. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814798676
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.72 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Avi Beker is Director of International Affairs of the World Jewish Congress and the Executive Director of the Israel Office. He was a member of the Israeli Mission to the United Nations and has published several books and many articles on International Jewish affairs.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates
Foreword
List of Abbreviations
Notes on the Contributors
1 Introduction: Unmasking National Myths - Europeans Challenge their History 1
2 The Inexplicable Behaviour of States 33
3 Estimating Jewish Wealth 48
4 The Holocaust, 'Thefticide' and Restitution: a Legal Perspective 66
5 Defrosting History: the Restitution of Jewish Property in Eastern Europe 83
6 A Commentary on Europe's Looted Gold, 1938-45 111
7 German Assets in Switzerland at the End of the Second World War 125
8 Why was Switzerland Singled Out? A Case of Belated Justice 142
9 The Great Culture Robbery: the Plunder of Jewish-Owned Art 164
10 France and the Burdens of Vichy 177
11 Quiet Collusion: Sweden's Financial Links to Nazi Germany 193
12 'Ex-Enemy Jews': the Fate of the Assets of Holocaust Victims and Survivors in Britain 209
13 The Norwegian Moral and Material Statement: White Paper No. 82 to the Storting 227
14 Austria: the Evasion of Responsibility 244
15 Franco's Spain: Willing, Unwanted Ally of Nazi Germany 258
16 Portugal's Double Game: Between the Nazis and the Allies 269
17 The Robbery of Dutch Jews and Postwar Restitution 282
18 Italy: Aspects of the Unbeautiful Life 297
19 The Vatican and the Shoah: Unanswered Questions of Material Complicity 313
20 Confiscation in Belgium: Diamonds and other Jewish Properties 327
Index 342
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