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Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US

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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Stu Loeser
(202) 371-6400, ext. 456

November 21, 1999

Congress Boosts Funds for Holocaust Commission

Washington, DC - Washington, DC - The United States Senate unanimously approved legislation this afternoon that will extend and significantly strengthen the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States.

In a separate action, the Senate included $1.7 million for the Commission in the Omnibus FY2000 Appropriations Act approved today. Combined with FY 2000 funds for the Commission already passed into law, $2.7 million was provided to support the Commission's work. The House passed the Omnibus bill Thursday night.

"I am delighted that the Senate - like the House - has endorsed the Commission unamimously," said Commission Chair Edgar M. Bronfman . "The Commission's work demonstrates irrefutably that we in the United States are willing to hold ourselves to the same high standard of truth to which we have held other nations. Congress' actions prove its commitment to this work and America's commitment to achieving justice for Holocaust victims and their families."

The U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999 moves the date by which the Commission's final report is due by 12 months to December 2000. The House unanimously approved an identical bill on October 4.

Created last year to examine -- and advise the President on -- the fate of Holocaust victims' assets that came into the control of the Federal government, the Commission has been working to locate and review more than 45 million pages of relevant documents. This number grows weekly as additional documents are declassified in a coordinated effort between the Commission and a working group comprised of the CIA, FBI, NSC, Justice Department, State Department, Department of Defense, and other Federal agencies.

These records are located in depositories across the country. The Commission's work is further complicated by the fact that victims' financial assets frozen by Federal law may now be sitting in state capitals across the country.

On October 14, the Commission released a progress report on its troubling findings related to US handling of Nazi-looted art on the "Hungarian Gold Train." For additional information about this report or the Commission, please visit .

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