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Posted Saturday, April 3, 1999

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Courier Mail, Brisbane, December 3, 1998


Appeal to return Jewish treasures


in Washington


REMEMBERING her grandparents and other Jews who died in the Holocaust, United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has said the return of Nazi-looted art and other property would "make the ledger slightly less out of balance".

The Clinton administration yesterday asked the delegates to an international conference in Washington to approve a statement calling on each nation to "redress the unjust confiscation" by finding pre-World War II owners and making restitution - whether or not heirs are found.

Russia pledged cooperation in identifying and returning "victim art" looted by the Nazis and then confiscated by Josef Stalin's troops after the war in what the then-Soviet state saw as reparations for damage caused and lives lost at the hands of Germany.

The four-day conference aims to set informal standards on how to deal with the art, communal property and other assets the Nazis plundered from European Jews and others during World War II. The current value would be $US90 billion.

Dr Albright said archives around the world should open their files.

"We cannot restore life nor rewrite history," she said. ""But we can make the ledger slightly less out of balance by devoting our time, energy and resources to the search for answers, the return of property and the payment of just claims."

- Associated Press

Our comment
AR logoMORE recently it has emerged that Albright stands accused of not returning furniture and works of art looted from the Vienna home assigned to her Czech-born father Joseph Korbel after World War II and taken by him to the United States. The original owners have pleaded in vain for their return.

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