U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced Thursday the passage of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act. The act, which facilitates the return of artwork looted by the Nazis during the Holocaust to its rightful owners, was unanimously passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Dcecades after the Holocaust, families of victims and survivors alike are still seeking their belongings that were stripped away from them,” Schumer said in a statement.
“While we can never right the wrongs of the Holocaust, it is our moral duty to help those survivors and their families achieve what justice can be found. This legislation is a drop of justice in what was an ocean of injustice – but it is our duty as legislators to give these families the opportunity to have their day in court.”
Ronald Lauder, the President of the World Jewish Congress, praised the passage of the HEAR Act as “a great moment” for those seeking justice for victims of the Holocaust and their families. Lauder serves as Chairman of the Commission for Art Recovery (CAR) and President of the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) as well.
“The HEAR Act will ensure survivors of the Holocaust and their families can have their day in court to pursue claims for property stolen from them during the Holocaust,” Lauder said.
“I applaud the Committee for passing this historic, bipartisan legislation and urge the Senate’s leadership to allow a vote on this bill without delay.”