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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

June 30, 1999 (202) 371-6400, ext. 456

Washington, D.C. - The members of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States today unveiled a “map” of all World War II-era Federal and related entities which may have possessed or controlled assets of Holocaust victims.

Commission Chairman Edgar M. Bronfman explained, “The Presidential Advisory Commission is committed to finding the truth about the assets of Holocaust victims that came into the possession or control of the United States Government. To find the truth, we have to know where to look for it. This map details the offices, divisions, and units of the government that might have dealt with Holocaust assets during World War II. It will serve as the basis for our further work and, in turn, inform our recommendations to the President.”

During the meeting of the Commission, U.S. Representative Rick Lazio (R-NY), a Commissioner, briefed his colleagues on the “U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999” he introduced today with fellow Representatives Ben Gilman (R-NY), Jim Maloney (D-CT) and Brad Sherman (D-CA), all of whom also serve as Commissioners. House Budget Chairman Jim Leach (R-IA) and Ranking Member John LaFalce (D-NY) are also original co-sponsors of this bill, which extends the Commission’s work for an additional year, making a final report to the President due at the end of the year 2000.

U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), a recently-appointed Commissioner, spoke about analogous legislation in the Senate and the work he and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) - all of whom serve on the Commission - are doing to secure additional funds for the Commission’s work.

The Commissioners also heard progress reports from the Commission’s three research teams and addressed administrative matters.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States was created by the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 (PL 105-186) and given the mandate to conduct original research into what happened to the assets of Holocaust victims - including gold, other financial instruments and art and cultural objects - that passed into the possession or control of the Federal government, including the Federal Reserve; survey the research done by others about what happened to the assets of Holocaust victims that passed into non-Federal hands, including State governments; and report to the President, making recommendations for future actions, whether legislative or administrative.

The Members of the Presidential Advisory Commission are: 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. Gordon Smith (OR), Sen. Arlen Specter (PA), Reverend Cecil Williams, Mr. Neal Wolin (Department of Treasury).

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