From Auschwitz, Cuomo plans forum to recover Nazi-stolen property

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A woman prays at the “Auschwitz Never Again” monument after the National Holocaust Commoration in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, which marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This Holocaust Remembrance Day, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced an upcoming international conference in New York City to help victims of Nazis recover stolen property.

“Nothing will ever make up for the unimaginable suffering and loss endured by the Jewish people,” Cuomo says, “but my sincere hope is that this event will help Holocaust victims and their families get the justice they deserve.”

Cuomo’s announcement comes as the governor visits Poland. He is the only elected official from the U.S. in person at Auschwitz today for a ceremony commemorating its closing.

The state Holocaust Claims Processing Office will hold a symposium focused on works of art or other property lost to Nazi persecution. Scheduled for May 7 and 8 the event will coincide with the 75th anniversary of German surrender.

Lacking official standards for interpreting terms like “Nazi-confiscated art,” “forced sale,” and “sale under duress,” international experts often face inconsistencies when characterizing or compensating for these losses in Jewish families. The symposium will feature presentations and discussions with claimants, attorneys, and experts in asset restitution, art, culture, and history.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest Nazi death camp, by Russian forces on Jan. 27, 1945.

Since 1997, the Holocaust Claims Processing Office has helped restore over $178 million in over 160 cases of lost or seized art, bank accounts, and insurance policies.

Cuomo prioritized Holocaust education—a crucial tool for combating anti-Semitism—in his 2020 agenda, along with domestic terrorism measures, a stronger school diversity curriculum, and an expanded Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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