The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets
The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets was established by law, after many years of criticism towards the public custodian in Israel for not taking the effort to locate heirs of asset owners who perished in the holocaust and on the same time preventing the use of the money from those assets for the benefit of holocaust survivors.
The law was promulgated in 2007 and the main points in it are:
- Transfer of assets of holocaust victims to the company.
- An intensive effort to locate heirs of victims and transferring the assets to them in a short and an efficient process.
- Using the money and assets of victims whose heirs cannot be located to the benefit and welfare of holocaust survivors living in Israel.
An asset of a victim is defined by law as:
asset of a holocaust victim – an asset for which one of the following holds true, except for a German asset, as defined in section 2(h) of the German Property Law 5710-1950:
- it is in Israel and the last known holder of rights to it is a person who was last know to be in an area, which on September 1, 1939, belonged to one of the states specified in Schedule One, and it is not known whether the said holder of the rights remained alive after December 31, 1945, or it is known that he died during the period between September 1, 1939, and December 31, 19345 in an aforesaid area;
- it is an asset that – under the provisions of section 21 of the General Custodian Law – is treated as if a management order had been made in its respect;
- it is the consideration for an asset for which the provisions of paragraph (1) hold true, on condition that the provisions of paragraph (1) hold true for the said consideration;
The company assembled and received ownership of many thousands of assets and is constantly trying to locate the legal heirs of these assets.
Nevertheless the need to produce precise facts regarding the original owner and to identify the heirs causes difficulties on the way to receive the assets from the company. The obstacles arise from the requirement in the law for a valid succession order. The process at the registrar of inheritance is turned very often to the family court and the "short and simple process" becomes long and complicated.
Experience proves that there are no shortcuts and one should seek professionals who would deal with the whole process.
Joel Levi & Co. Law Firm is taking all necessary steps to apply for the succession order including the assembly of documentation and preparing the applications for death declaration when all that is known about a person is the fact that he or she perished in the Shoa. Our firm will assist the clients all the way until the assets be it real-estate or money, are returned to them.
For the full text of the law click here.