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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

May 5, 1999 (202) 371-6400, ext. 456

HOLOCAUST ASSETS COMMISSION NAMES TEAM The Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, created to investigate possessions of Holocaust victims that fell into the hands of the Federal government, has opened its offices and hired staff. The Commission, which is chaired by World Jewish Congress and Seagram’s Chief Edgar M. Bronfman, includes former Congresswoman Pat Schroeder and ex-IRS Commissioner Peggy Richardson as Commissioners.

The Commission’s Executive Director is Kenneth L. Klothen, an international human rights consultant who is the outgoing General Counsel for AmeriCorps. Klothen holds a Master's degree in History from Princeton and served on the boards of the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Philadelphia Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and Americans for Peace Now.

The Deputy Director, Gene Sofer, holds a doctorate in History from UCLA and was the longtime Budget Counsel for the House’s then-Committee on Education and Labor before serving as AmeriCorps’ Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.

The Commission’s General Counsel is Lynda S. Mounts, formerly the Acting General Counsel of the American Trucking Associations and Acting Chief Counsel of ATA’s Litigation Center. Mounts is a former partner at the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Marc Masurovsky is leading the research team investigating gold. Masurovsky began researching assets looted during the Holocaust in 1980 and co-founded and served as Research Director for the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) in 1997. Masurovsky served as an expert historian for a class-action lawsuit seeking restitution from Swiss banks and as a consultant and historian on related issues for the Department of Justice Office of Special Investigations, the Senate Banking Committee, and the Department of Treasury. Masurovsky holds a Master’s degree in Modern European History from the American University.

Jonathan Petropoulos, a Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College, leads the research team investigating art and cultural property. Petropoulos is the Administrative Director and Board Members of the Project for the Documentation of Wartime Cultural Losses and has served as a consultant on looted artwork for the Department of State, ABC News, CBS’s 60 Minutes, and others. He is the author of the two books: Art as Politics in the Third Reich and The Faustian Bargain: the Art World in Nazi Germany. Petropoulos holds a doctorate in Modern European History from Harvard University.

Stu Loeser, who served most recently as Research Director and Deputy Press Secretary for Governor Jeanne Shaheen’s successful re-election campaign in New Hampshire, handles press and legislative affairs as Commission Relations Coordinator. The Commission’s Director of Administration is Tracy Shycoff, who held similar positions at the JFK Assassination Records Review Board and the National Commission on AIDS.

The full list of Commissioners : Mr. Edgar M. Bronfman - Chair, Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA), Sen. Christopher Dodd (CT), Hon. Stuart Eizenstat (Department of State), Rep. Ben Gilman (NY), Hon. Patrick Henry (Department of the Army), Mr. Roman R. Kent, Rep. Rick Lazio (NY), Mr. Ira H. Leesfield, Chairman Miles Lerman (US Holocaust Memorial Committee), Rep. James Maloney (CT), Dr. Jehuda Reinharz, Hon. Peggy Milner Richardson, Hon. James Robinson (Department of Justice), Hon. Patricia Scott Schroeder, Rep. Brad Sherman (CA), Hon. William S. Singer, Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), Reverend Cecil Williams, Mr. Neal Wolin (Department of Treasury).

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