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Overview

Malta remained a British colony and Allied naval stronghold throughout World War II, besieged but never captured by Axis forces, and consequently there are no known cases of Jewish property having been confiscated or wrongfully seized during the Holocaust era.  Representatives of the Maltese Jewish community have reported that they are unaware of any Holocaust-era property restitution claims.  The country supports Holocaust education and commemoration in line with the principles of the Terezin Declaration. 

Jewish roots in Malta date to the 4th and 5th centuries.  Today, the Jewish community includes some 200 members.

Immovable Private, Communal/Religious, and Heirless Property

In its official response to the European Shoah Legacy Institute’s Immovable Property Restitution Study (2017), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that “Malta never had any immovable property which was confiscated or wrongfully seized by the Nazis, Fascists and/or their collaborators during the Holocaust era, including the period of World War II.”

The Department is not aware of any claims concerning immovable property in Malta from the Holocaust era.

Movable Property: Nazi-Confiscated and Looted Art, Judaica, and Jewish Cultural Property

The Department is not aware of any outstanding issues with Judaica and Jewish cultural property in Malta or of any reports of Nazi-confiscated and looted art in Malta.  Malta does not have legislation that specifically addresses heirless movable property belonging to victims of the Holocaust.

In 2000, a new synagogue replaced an older one in the capital city that had fallen into disrepair.  In 2013, the Chabad Malta organization was established and has raised the visibility of Judaism locally, including by wearing religious attire in public.  The Center sponsors activities for the local Jewish community and tourists.  These include a synagogue, a kosher restaurant, a kindergarten, a Hebrew school, and offering Torah classes.  Widespread anti-Semitism in the country is unknown.

Access to Archival Documents

A public registry, national archives, and national library are open to the public.

Education, Remembrance, Research, and Memorial Sites

Holocaust education is included in the secondary school curriculum, and the Maltese government funds seminars for educators and students on the topic.  The University of Malta’s President’s Foundation has held Holocaust Remembrance Day events to highlight the significance of the Holocaust in contemporary society.  The 2019 event explored present-day implications of the persecution of Jewish citizens and minority groups during the Holocaust.  Malta has three Jewish cemeteries administered by the Jewish community.

Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act Report: Malta
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U.S. Department of State

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