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Immovable Private, Communal/Religious, and Heirless Property

The government and local NGOs are unaware of any Holocaust-related immovable property claims in Argentina.  According to a 2017 European Shoah Legacy Institute report, Argentina does not appear to be “a party to any treaties or agreements with other countries that address restitution and/or compensation for immovable property confiscated or wrongfully taken during the Holocaust.”  The country’s Secretariat for Worship specified that it does not have any records of restitution claims that Holocaust survivors pursued through the Government of Argentina; it noted that such cases would have to be handled through international agreements given the lack of relevant domestic legislation.  NGOs in Argentina are pivotal when it comes to assisting victims attempting to navigate such claims.

Fundación Tzedaká reported that although the Polish government in 2018 permitted claims on immovable property from overseas residents, to its knowledge no Argentine resident has made a claim.  The NGO suggested that most Jewish Argentines are of Polish descent, and the lack of claims by Argentine Jews could be related to the complicated restitution process in Poland.  Fundación Tzedaká has assisted clients in applying for monetary restitution from other governments, such as Germany, Romania, and Serbia.

Movable Property: Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art

Most government and civil society sources voiced doubts that there was any Holocaust-related movable property in Argentina.  All agreed that some of the Nazis who came to Argentina after WWII used false names in an attempt to immigrate as refugees; therefore, they rarely arrived with large amounts of belongings.  Both Fundación Tzedaká and a law firm that had been involved in assisting Holocaust survivors with restitution claims stated that they have not processed claims for any movable property.

The existence of smuggled Nazi-looted and confiscated art in Argentina is possible, however, given that other items from the period have surfaced in recent years.  For example, the Argentine Federal Police confiscated what was thought to be the largest cache of Nazi memorabilia outside of Europe in a raid on a local antiques store in June 2017.  These objects are believed to have been either smuggled into Argentina by Nazi escapees or forged.  Through DAIA, the Jewish community became a party in the case against the antiques shop owner, asserting that their sale allegedly violated either the antidiscrimination law (if they were forgeries) or the patrimony law concerning import controls of cultural artifacts (if found to be genuine).  These pieces were donated to Argentina’s Holocaust museum.  This case suggests other items might have been smuggled out of Europe in the aftermath of the war, but to this day none have surfaced that involve Nazi-confiscated or looted art.  None of the items confiscated in June 2017 were reported to be property stolen from survivors.

Argentine museums do not do provenance research on their collections, and there have been difficulties researching the activities of Argentina’s art market during the Holocaust.  The Argentine Commission of Inquiry into the Activities of Nazism in Argentina, created in 1997, concluded that no looted art was or is held by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.  The Commission admitted that it had not checked any other state-run museum and that it faced difficulties researching the activities of Argentina’s art market during the Holocaust, particularly those of the Witcomb, Wildenstein, and Muller art galleries.

Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property

As with other movable property, sources neither in civil society nor in the government had any reports of restitution claims regarding Judaica or Jewish cultural property in Argentina.  Argentina received 5,053 books and 150 museum and synagogue pieces from Jewish Cultural Reconstruction after WWII.  So far as is known, no provenance research has been conducted on these holdings or on other Judaica that may have reached Argentina during or after the war.

Access to Archival Documents

In 1992, the government announced that it would open the archives related to Nazi arrivals in Argentina, extradition requests for Nazi war criminals, and laws that prevented Jewish immigration during the same period.  In 2017, the government initiated the digitalization of the archives for convenient access and further study.  It has shared copies of these digitized archives with DAIA and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and researchers can access the documents through these organizations.

The government created the Truth Commission for Nazi Activities in Argentina in 1997 to investigate Nazi immigration to Argentina and possible government acquiescence at the time.  A study published by the commission found 180 cases of confirmed Nazi war criminals who entered Argentina.  The government did not repeal a 1948 law barring Jewish immigration to Argentina until 2005.

Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites

Argentina’s active civil society organizations take a multifaceted approach to Holocaust remembrance.  Concerning Holocaust primary source education, Argentina’s Museum of the Holocaust is at the forefront of compiling oral testimony from survivors.  Through the institution’s “Apprentice Project,” these survivors entrust their stories to new generations that in turn are expected to further disseminate them to their younger peers to keep the memory of the Shoah alive.  NGOs also remember the Holocaust in ceremonies they sponsor, sometimes with the Israeli embassy or connected to events commemorating the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA).

In 2006, Argentina became the only Latin American country to be a full member of IHRA.  In keeping with that membership, the government hosts a yearly Shoah memorial event on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is organized on a rotating basis by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology; the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship.  The latter ministry hosted the 2018 event at the Shoah Memorial Plaza in Buenos Aires at which President Mauricio Macri became the first sitting president to attend as a speaker, along with the DAIA president and a Holocaust survivor.  Other provincial capitals hosted the event in prior years, illustrating a commitment to encourage all levels of government to participate in Holocaust remembrance.

Argentina also established a Permanent Advisory Council in 2002 that functions as the local chapter of the IHRA.  The presidency of this council rotates among the aforementioned three government ministries and includes the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Racism, as well as many civil society organizations.  Chief among these NGOs are DAIA, AMIA, B’nai B’rith Argentina, the Anne Frank Center (Centro Ana Frank), the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Plural Jai, the Holocaust Museum Foundation, the Center for Holocaust Studies, the Argentine Judeo-Christian Confraternity, and many more.  The Council convenes monthly to exchange information and discuss initiatives such as remembrance events, workshops, seminars, production of documentary material, and academic curricula.


Immovable Private, Communal/Religious, and Heirless Property

Post-war laws provided for the restitution of certain immovable property, but the laws were only partly satisfactory.  To address inadequacies, and in accordance with provisions in the January 2001 U.S.-Austrian Washington Agreement referred to above, the Austrian government set up a General Settlement Fund in May 2001.  The Fund included an arbitration panel on in rem restitution to restitute publicly owned property formerly owned by individuals or the Austrian Jewish community.  The deadline for filing applications was 2011, and the panel finished processing applications in December 2018.  In total, the Fund restituted property in some 140 cases, worth about €48 million (approximately $52.6 million).

The 2001 General Settlement Fund’s Claims Committee also addressed open questions of compensation (as opposed to restitution) for losses of assets that had not been sufficiently resolved by previous measures.  In particular, it focused on real property, business assets, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, movable assets, insurance policies, occupational and educational losses, and other losses and damages.  The deadline for filing applications was 2003.  The Fund was endowed with approximately $210 million total and was required to make payments on a pro‑rata basis.  The Fund’s Claims Committee received more than 20,000 applications, of which some 18,155 resulted in positive decisions.  Overall, the independent Claims Committee recognized claims totaling approximately $1.5 billion.  Since the total claimed amounts determined for all successful applications exceeded the $210 million provided for by the Washington Agreement, each applicant could receive only a defined fractional share of his or her claim.  For insurance policies, successful applicants received about 20 percent of the value and for other claims, between 10 and 17 percent of the value.  The panel finished processing applications in December 2018.

In accordance with the 2001 Washington Agreement, the City of Vienna also restituted the formerly Jewish-owned and operated Hakoah sports club facilities, expanding those facilities to create a Jewish center that included a school and a home for the elderly.  The Austrian government also set up a Fund for Jewish Cemeteries in 2010, in accordance with the same agreement.

Regarding heirless property, the Austrian government provided compensation to Jewish organizations after the re-establishment of Austria’s sovereignty through the 1955 Austrian State Treaty.

Movable Property: Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art

In 1998, pursuant to the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art concluded that year, the Austrian government initiated an art restitution program that covered art in museums and institutions owned by the federal government, with provincial and municipal governments enacting their own laws.  Austria was one of the few countries that incorporated the Washington Principles into its national legislation.  The country has restituted more than 32,000 objects, among them renowned artworks such as the Rothschild family’s art collection in the Vienna Museum for Fine Art and several works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.  The art restitution law stipulated that an advisory panel recommend restoration to the rightful owner based on research conducted in federal museums and institutions by the Commission on Provenance Research.

Under the 2001 U.S.-Austrian Washington Agreement, the Austrian government agreed to undertake its best efforts to expand the jurisdiction of the country’s 1998 art restitution law, which initially covered only federal institutions, to the provincial and municipal levels.  The program is ongoing.  Problems remain regarding privately owned collections, which are subject to the principle of good faith acquisition.

Heirless art objects, in accordance with the federal art restitution law, are to be transferred to the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for Victims of National Socialism.  In 2006, the National Fund posted an online database of some of these heirless objects to allow additional claimants to come forward; the database now holds more than 9,000 entries.  In Vienna, the 1996 Mauerbach auction of unclaimed Jewish-owned art resulted in a fund of $13.5 million, used primarily to benefit needy Austrian Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.

Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property

Apart from the post-war restitution laws, which were also used for post-war communal property restitution, a 1960 law provided for a one-time payment of approximately $11.4 million as compensation for damaged synagogues, prayer houses, and other properties owned by the Jewish community, plus an annual allocation of approximately $846,200 to be paid for an indefinite time period.  The 2001 General Settlement Fund’s Claims Committee and in rem arbitration panel were also used to seek restitution of communal properties.

In 2002, the Austrian federal provinces, along with the Jewish communities of Vienna, Graz, Linz, and Salzburg, concluded an agreement intended to resolve all remaining questions of compensation for destroyed/looted assets that belonged to Jewish communities, associations, and foundations.  A payment amount of approximately $20 million was finalized in 2005, after the Vienna Jewish community withdrew more than 700 pending claims with the General Settlement Fund and withdrew amicus curiae support for a pending class action suit in the United States against Austria.

Austria’s libraries and museums conduct provenance research on Judaica and carry out restitution thereof.

Access to Archival Documents

The 2001 Washington Agreement stipulated that the Government of Austria would work on providing better access to the files of the Austrian State Archives and make efforts to ensure that requests for information are handled in an expedited and non-bureaucratic manner.  That stipulation was implemented in most cases, according to researchers working on Holocaust issues.  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has enjoyed longstanding cooperation with several Austrian archives.

Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites

Holocaust education forms an important part of school curricula, and there are Holocaust remembrance projects throughout Austria.  The most prominent memorial site is the former concentration camp Mauthausen in Upper Austria.  The government funds Holocaust research projects on a regular basis, including via the “Future Fund.”  That mechanism disburses surplus funds from the compensation fund of Nazi-era forced and enslaved laborers to projects commemorating the victims of National Socialism and other totalitarian regimes.  Austria is also an active member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

The National Fund of Austria for the Victims of National Socialism continues to do educational programming.  For example, it recently funded a new Austrian exhibition in Block 17 of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland with the title “Far removed.  Austria in Auschwitz.”

The Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and Other Victims of Nazi Persecution

In accordance with the U.S.-Austria agreements concluded in 2000 and 2001, the Austrian government provided more than €180 million ($201.2 million) in nursing care payments to Holocaust survivors living abroad, most prominently in Israel and the United States.  The agreements also entitled Holocaust survivors living abroad to receive benefits under the Austrian pension system.  The National Fund for Victims of National Socialism, set up in 1995, provided lump-sum payments for Holocaust survivors and extra benefits for survivors in need of assistance.  The Reconciliation Fund for Compensation of Nazi-Era Forced and Slave Laborers, set up in 2000, issued payments to surviving forced and slave laborers.  An organization in Vienna also provides psychological assistance to Holocaust survivors.

The main entity representing former Austrian Jews in negotiations with Austria was the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria, a sub-committee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference).  It was founded in 1953 after Germany refused to accept the obligations of Austria, arguing that Austria was also responsible for Nazi persecution of Jews.  Following negotiations with the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria, in 1956 Austria enacted the Assistance Fund Act (Hilfsfondsgesetz) that established a modest fund to provide one-time payments to victims of National Socialism who lived abroad and did not receive benefits under the Austrian Victims Welfare Act.

Starting in 1961, after negotiations with the Committee for Jewish Claims on Austria, the General Social Insurance Law was amended several times to allow more victims to participate in the pension system by retroactively purchasing pensions at a preferential rate.  In 2001, as a result of the U.S.-Austria Washington Agreement of that year, the law was amended yet again so that all persons born prior to the Anschluss in March 1938 would be able to “purchase” a social security pension.  In 2008, after pressure from the Claims Conference, this was changed again to include those born until the end of WWII.

Former Austrian Jews are entitled to monthly “nursing assistance” based on their level of disability.  Prior to the 2001 Washington Agreement, those former Austrian Jews living abroad were only entitled to “Level 2,” irrespective of their level of disability.  As a result of the 2001 Washington Agreement, this discriminatory measure was removed, and former Austrian Jews were entitled to receive up to Level 7 of this program.  Most of the former Austrian Jews benefiting from these agreements reside in Israel or the United States.

The National Fund for Victims of National Socialism provided lump-sum payments for Holocaust survivors and extra benefits for survivors in need of assistance.  Since its establishment, the National Fund has made around 30,000 “gesture payments” of €5,087 ($5,690) to surviving Austrian victims of National Socialist injustice.  The total amount of all payments comes to around €157.3 million ($175.8 million).

Furthermore, since 2001, the National Fund also disbursed more than €175 million ($195.6 million) as symbolic compensation for seized tenancy rights, household effects, and personal valuables.  These took the form of lump-sum payments of €7,630 or $7,000 and additional payments of 1,000 euros.  The claims deadline ended in June 2004.  Additionally, the National Fund has so far approved funding for around 2,100 projects and programs worth approximately €30.8 million ($34.4 million).

The country’s Reconciliation Fund for Compensation of Nazi-Era Forced and Slave Laborers, set up in 2000, issued payments to surviving forced and slave laborers who had not already received a payment from the German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future.”  The overwhelming majority of victims of the Nazis who received a payment from the Reconciliation Fund were non-Jewish forced laborers.

For more than a decade, the Claims Conference has received an annual allocation of €1.5 million (approximately $1.7 million) from the Austrian government for an emergency assistance program to benefit former Austrian Jews, a program administered by Jewish social welfare agencies in countries in which former Austrian Jews reside.  Finally, an organization in Vienna called ESRA, the Hebrew term for “help,” provides psychological assistance to Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

U.S. Citizen Claims

The General Settlement Fund and the Reconciliation Fund for Nazi-Era Forced and Slave Laborers have now closed.  However, U.S. citizens can still apply for certain benefits from the National Fund for Victims of National Socialism, the art restitution program, and the Austrian government’s social welfare benefits (annual pensions and “Pflegegeld”- nursing allowances).  In addition, needy former Austrian Jews can still apply to Jewish social welfare agencies to access the Austrian Holocaust Survivor Emergency Assistance Program funded by the Austrian Government via the Claims Conference.


Immovable Private, Communal/Religious, and Heirless Property

Restitution cases involving private property confiscated after 1946 were subject to procedures under the Criminal Procedure Act.  Cases involving private property nationalized by the Communists were subject to restitution procedures under the Denationalization Act of 1991.  The 1991 act required claimants to have had Yugoslav citizenship at the time their property was confiscated.  Given such requirements, Jewish property owners and their heirs were largely unable to file claims under the act.

Some Holocaust survivors and their relatives, along with Slovene deportees, were able to reclaim property confiscated before 1945, but NGOs and advocacy groups report that the government has not made sufficient progress on the resolution of Holocaust-era claims.  These reports come from former citizens who were required to renounce Yugoslav citizenship as a condition for emigrating and Holocaust survivors from Yugoslavia and their heirs who did not return and thus never had Yugoslav citizenship.  Some cases involving the restitution of property seized during the Communist era (especially from 1946 to 1958) remain unresolved, but nearly all denationalization cases are finalized.

In many instances, courts had already deemed Jewish property heirless after the war, before the heirs of those who perished were able to return.  Moreover, Slovenians who emigrated to Israel between 1948 and 1950 were pressured to renounce their Yugoslav citizenship and forfeit their property to the state as a prerequisite to leaving the country.

Many eligible property owners and their heirs living abroad did not file claims under the Denationalization Act because they did not receive adequate notice before the claims deadline.  Those who did file claims faced a process that suffered from a lack of trained personnel and inadequate ownership records, which resulted in a lack of transparency and inconsistent decisions.

The government asserts that nearly all of Slovenia’s Holocaust-era restitution claims have been closed.  Most Holocaust-era claims are categorized as heirless property, however, for which there is no provision in law for restitution or compensation.  The extermination of entire families in Slovenia left substantial property without heirs to claim it.

In 2018, the WJRO and the Ministry of Justice agreed to launch a joint research project to establish the scope of heirless properties in the country.  The research teams expected to complete the study by the end of 2019.

The Department is unaware of outstanding restitution claims from U.S. citizen Holocaust survivors or family members of Holocaust victims.

Movable Property: Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art

The Department is not aware of any outstanding issues with movable property.  In 2014, the Ministry of Culture made an inquiry across state museums and art galleries but did not find Nazi‑confiscated or looted art.  Provenance research has begun through Slovenia’s participation in the EU-sponsored project “TransCultAA – Transfer of Cultural Objects in the Alpe Adria Region in the 20th Century,” but there continue to be difficulties with access to archival sources such as those concerning the distribution by the Communist regime of art looted during WWII.

Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property

Judaica in Slovenia has for the most part been identified, partly in cooperation with the Center for Jewish Art of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  The Department is not aware of any outstanding issues with Judaica and Jewish cultural property, and there is no law specifically addressing the restitution of cultural property.

Access to Archival Documents

Slovenian archives are generally open and accessible to the public without restrictions.  In 2014, amendments to the Act on the Protection of Documentary and Archival Material and Archives introduced some limitations on the use of personal data and information on individuals.  In July 2018, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia signed a cooperation contract to grant the museum’s representatives access to and the ability to reproduce material in Slovenia’s archives.

Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites

The government is a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and supports IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism.  Government officials attend International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide events on December 9.  The government also observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.

Holocaust education is required in schools.  Schools use a booklet published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the Holocaust education curriculum to create awareness of the history of Jews and anti-Semitism in Europe before WWII and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust.  The material also emphasizes the responsibility to remember the victims of the Holocaust.

The Mini Teater (Mini Theater) in Ljubljana, established in 1999, houses the Jewish Cultural Center, which the local Jewish community also uses as a synagogue.  The Mini Teater seeks to raise Jewish culture and history awareness through Jewish-themed theater performances and its annual Festival of Tolerance.  In an April 2019 meeting with the U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues and WJRO representatives, the Center’s director noted preparations for an exhibition on Ljubljana victims of the Holocaust and plans to install “Stolpersteins” (“stumbling stones”) in the cities of Murska Sobota and Lendava.  These stumbling stones are concrete cubes bearing brass plates inscribed with the names and birth and death dates of Slovenian victims of the Holocaust.  The Center, which receives no government funding, also includes a museum and the country’s only Holocaust memorial.

The national government proclaimed the Maribor Synagogue in the city of Maribor as a museum of national importance, and the city financially supports its operations and maintenance.

The Museum of Tržič administers a museum at the location of the Ljubelj labor camp, the only labor camp in Slovenia during WWII.  The Ljubelj camp had approximately 1,300 prisoners at any given time during 1943-1945; inmates worked in appalling conditions with high mortality rates to build the Ljubelj tunnel.  At least 14 Jews were documented as prisoners in the Ljubelj camp.  Ministry of Justice contacts assessed the current museum is in poor condition.  The government is renovating the museum and plans to add a remembrance room with information on the victims.  The government also plans to train tour guides and provide translation of the museum’s materials into several foreign languages.

The Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and Other Victims of Nazi Persecution

Ministry of Justice contacts reported that Holocaust survivors, including those living abroad, were eligible to claim social welfare benefits such as health insurance, recognition of pensionable service, entitlement to a pension, compensation for war damages, a monthly annuity, and priority for allocation of social housing through the Act on Victims of War Violence, which has no statute of limitations.  Ministry contacts, however, were unaware of any such claims.


Immovable Private, Communal/Religious, and Heirless Property

No private or communal immovable property of targeted groups was confiscated in Sweden in conjunction with WWII and the Holocaust.  As a result, Sweden does not have specific restitution legislation that applies to private or communal/religious immovable property.

According to the government, no Holocaust-era litigation or restitution claims regarding immovable property have, at any time, been initiated or submitted in Sweden or to Swedish authorities outside the country.  In June 2019, the Swedish government instructed the National Heritage Board to assess whether there is a need to take special action to clarify and facilitate Sweden’s compliance with the objectives the country undertook in endorsing the 1998 Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and the 2009 Terezin Declaration.  The assessment is to be carried out in consultation with the state museums, the Financial Management Agency, the Royal Library, the National Archives, the Jewish Central Council, the Association of the Holocaust Survivors, and other relevant actors.  The National Heritage Board must present its findings to the Ministry of Culture no later than October 16, 2020.  If the National Heritage Board determines there is a need for action, proposals are to be submitted to the government on appropriate measures describing the organizational, legal, and financial consequences to the State and museums.

Movable Property: Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art

Sweden has no legislation that specifically addresses heirless movable property belonging to victims of the Holocaust.  As a result, such property is treated as any other heirless property and transferred to the State Inheritance Fund, which liquidates the estate.  The State Inheritance Fund grants funding each year to civil society organizations, with a particular focus on people with disabilities.  The law regulating the fund does not earmark grants for assistance to needy Holocaust survivors, but the fund has provided grants to at least one Holocaust education project.

Starting in 1997, a government commission investigated the disposition of Jewish assets in Sweden and Jewish property brought into Sweden before or during WWII.  The commission investigated, among other things, whether Sweden’s central bank or commercial banks received looted gold and whether stolen Jewish property entered Sweden as part of trade exchanges with Nazi Germany.  The commission, which published its report in 1999, did not find proof that such actions had taken place but could not rule out the possibility that they had occurred in small quantities or in limited circumstances.

The commission established reliable evidence that the government, in a small number of cases, disposed of Jewish assets when it liquidated Nazi German assets as obligated by the 1946 Washington Agreement.  The government provided restitution to claimants affected by these actions in the decades immediately following the war.  In response to requests by Jewish groups, a number of Swedish banks in the 1960s voluntarily created a fund for victims of Nazism, which was distributed by the Red Cross.  The fund’s endowment was based on the estimated total value of unclaimed assets in Swedish banks that could have belonged to victims of the Holocaust.

The commission also investigated what happened after WWII to unclaimed Jewish assets deposited in Swedish banks.  In 1998, the commission published a list of banking assets unclaimed since the end of WWII and unknown to heirs of Holocaust victims.  Swedish banks subsequently made payments to the assets’ rightful heirs, where possible.  In 1998, bank assets of 7 million kronor (approximately $875,000 in 1998) were distributed to almost 600 accounts, which belonged to expatriate account holders.  According to the commission, only “a few” accounts belonged to victims of the Holocaust.  Most accounts belonged to descendants of emigrants to North America.  Assets for which no owners or heirs could be located were transferred to the General Heritage Fund.  The commission found no cases in which Swedish banks had failed to honor rightful claims and no accusations of Swedish banks making unreasonable demands for proof.

The 1999 government inquiry found that “dealings in looted art in Sweden during WWII were relatively modest, viewed in an international perspective.”  Although there were reports of looted art and jewelry entering Sweden during that time, including reports from the U.S. embassy in Stockholm, the inquiry could neither prove nor disprove the veracity of such reports.

Since the release of the report, heirs to victims of the Holocaust have made restitution claims for looted art in Sweden in two cases, both of which were resolved to the stated satisfaction of the claimants.  In 2009, the Modern Museum (Moderna Museet) in Stockholm settled a dispute with the heirs of Otto Nathan Deutsch regarding a painting that disappeared following Deutsch’s flight from persecution in Nazi Germany in 1939 and which the museum purchased from a Swiss gallery in 1961.  In 2018, the Modern Museum reached a settlement with the heir of Alfred Flechtheim to return a painting of his that the National Museum of Fine Arts (Nationalmuseum) purchased from a Nazi party member in 1933 or 1934.  Flechtheim’s heir is a U.S. citizen.

Judaica and Jewish Cultural Property

The Department is aware of no reports of looted Judaica or Jewish cultural property present in Sweden.

Access to Archival Documents

Claimants generally have access to archival documents that could be relevant to prove ownership.  The Swedish Constitution guarantees the right of access to all unclassified public documents, and the government and the courts abide by this right in practice.  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum reports good cooperation with Swedish governmental archives.

Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites

The government supports and conducts annual ceremonies of remembrance and commemoration.  August 27 is Raoul Wallenberg Day, commemorating the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust in Hungary.  The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts a memorial lecture, and a Raoul Wallenberg Award is given to a person who has worked against racism, discrimination, and injustice during the year.  In central Stockholm, there is a memorial to approximately 8,500 of the European Jews who suffered at the hands of the Nazis during WWII.  The Jewish Museum in the Old Town of Stockholm tells the story of Swedish‑Jewish history.

The government places significant importance on Holocaust education and the struggle against racism and intolerance.  Education about the Holocaust and other Nazi crimes, as well as human rights more broadly, is part of the required public education curriculum.  The government provides funding for teaching training and educational resources.  No Nazi concentration or extermination camps existed in Sweden, but the government funds student and teacher trips to such sites in other countries.

The Forum for Living History is a Swedish government agency commissioned to promote democracy and human rights, and it also focuses on Holocaust remembrance.  Reports and studies published by the Forum deal with various forms of modern intolerance amongst young Swedes.

In 2000, then Prime Minister Göran Persson announced Sweden’s official Holocaust Remembrance Day of January 27 and declared: “Our quest must be to increase our efforts to pass on the legacy of our past to future generations.  We must be able to say to our children, ‘There is always a choice.  Not to choose is also a choice.”  Prime Minister Persson, in cooperation with the U.S. Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues, convened the International Forum on Remembrance of the Holocaust in January 2000.  It was attended by 46 governments, including 23 heads of state or prime ministers and 14 deputy prime ministers or ministers.  The Stockholm Declaration was endorsed at the end of the conference.  The declaration supports Holocaust education, remembrance, and research, and includes commitments on commemoration days, educational initiatives, and the opening of relevant archives.  At the same time, Prime Minister Persson announced the creation of the International Holocaust Education Task Force to promote Holocaust education in school systems around Europe and the world.  That body is the forerunner of today’s International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

In October 2020, it will be 20 years since the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust and the establishment of what would become the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.  The government plans to host a high-level international forum in Sweden focused on remembrance of the Holocaust and combatting modern anti-Semitism.

The Welfare of Holocaust (Shoah) Survivors and Other Victims of Nazi Persecution

State welfare authorities provide comprehensive social welfare, including full medical and health coverage, to all citizens, including to victims of Nazi persecution.  The Jewish Community of Stockholm and the Jewish Community of Malmo also provide homecare services to Holocaust survivors and other victims of Nazi persecution.

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