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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

December 10, 1999

President Signs Bill to Extend Holocaust Commission

Washington, DC - As the Independent Association of Eminent Persons released its “Bergier Commission” report on Swiss handling of Holocaust refugees, and just days after the Independent Committee of Eminent Persons released its “Volcker Commission” report on Swiss banks’ handling of Holocaust-era accounts, President Clinton signed into law last night legislation to extend and authorize more federal funds for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States.

HR 2401, 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 and authorizes an additional $2.5 million for the Commission’s work, an increase of 71 percent over the original $3.5 million. This House of Representatives approved this bill unanimously on October 4, and the Senate approved it unanimously on November 19.

"The Commission's research demonstrates irrefutably that we in the United States are willing to hold ourselves to the same high standard of truth about Holocaust assets to which we have held other nations,” declared President Clinton upon signing the bill. “The extension of the Presidential Advisory Commission sends a strong message, both at home and abroad, that we are committed to examining difficult aspects of our history and determining how to build a better world for our children in the next millennium."

"The Presidential Commission's highest priority is pursuing the truth about American actions before, during, and after the Holocaust" said Commission Chair Edgar M. Bronfman. "This action by the President and Congress provides us with the time and helps make available resources we need to complete our mission."

The President and Mr. Bronfman were referring in part to the Commission’s October 14 progress report on troubling findings related to US handling of Nazi-looted art on the "Hungarian Gold Train."

The Presidential Commission was 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.

For additional information about this report or the Commission, please visit .

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