This is a fairly easy list to search if you follow the directions. The saddest thing about this list is the length. Just one small segment of the population that was lost, yet it is thousands of names long.
Dec 10, 2007 14:06 | Updated Dec 10, 2007 15:43
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
The Israeli organization for the restitution of assets for Holocaust victims on Monday published the names of 55,000 Holocaust victims who purchased more than 100,000 shares in the pre-state financial organ of the Zionist Movement before they perished in the Holocaust.
The shares purchased in the Jewish Colonial Trust, which was founded by the Zionist visionary Theodore Herzl in England in 1899 in order to promote Jewish settlement in Palestine, are valued at more than NIS 200 million, the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims' Assets in Israel said.
This is the largest restitution campaign the organization has conducted since its establishment two years ago.
The JCT, which was in charge of banking operations and of financial projects in Palestine, set up the Anglo - Palestine Bank, which was the precursor to Bank Leumi, Israel's second largest bank.
The 113,000 unclaimed pre-Holocaust shares were heretofore kept under the care of the Custodian General's Office since the establishment of the State of Israel.
"This is another significant move aimed at correcting a 60-year-old historic injustice," said Avraham Roet, the head of the organization and a Holocaust survivor himself.
The average stock-holder bought one share in the turn of the century fund, with each share valued today at NIS 2,400, a group spokesman said.
The Israeli organization for the restitution of assets for Holocaust victims was established by the Knesset last year in an effort to uncover and return the assets of Holocaust victims to their rightful heirs.
Earlier this year, the group published the first list of assets and property of Holocaust victims found in Israel.
Property and assets belonging to Holocaust victims valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars have been held by various state institutions in Israel for dozens of years, and have only recently begun to been transfered to their rightful heirs.
Property and assets that are not claimed will be used to help elderly Holocaust survivors in need.
About 250,000 Holocaust survivors are living in the country.
Nearly one-third of them live in poverty, Israeli welfare reports have found, prompting a recent landmark accord for additional government assistance.
The names of the shareholders are accessible on the organization's multi-language Internet site at hashava.org.il
The victims' heirs have one year to file a claim of ownership, after which time any unclaimed money will be distributed between needy survivors still alive.
More than 10,000 people visited the Internet site on Monday when the list were first published, compared to 100 on a normal day, a spokesman for the organization said.
The organization has faced some criticism for its protracted bureaucracy.