Jersey

Jersey WWII Jewish families compensation contract signed

German soldiers marching in Jersey
Image caption Jersey was occupied by German forces from 1940 to 1945

Jersey's government has supported efforts to compensate Jewish people for property confiscated during World War II.

The signing of the Terezin Declaration has been welcomed by the head of Jersey's Jewish Community.

Steven Regal said he was aware of two cases where Jewish-owned shops in Jersey had to be sold during the Nazi Occupation of the island.

He said: "An edict was passed that Jews could not own property or businesses."

He added: "I know with one of them, the shop was sold to the shop manager and run throughout the Occupation.

"At the end of the war, the shop manager presented the returning Jewish family with the accounts of the shop, and how much money they had taken, all in ledgers and all audited.

"It just goes to show with the sort of Jersey attitude of how we deal those sort of things."

'Greater understanding'

The Terezin Declaration acknowledges damage to the community and victims of persecution by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945.

It is not legally binding but has morally-important guidelines.

Image caption The Terezin Declaration aims to compensate Jewish people for property confiscated in WWII

The States of Jersey said it was mindful of what many people experienced during the Occupation of the island and it supported the principles set out in the guidelines of the declaration.

The declaration means the States should ensure claimants have free access to relevant local and national archives needed to confirm the right of ownership.

Steven Regal said: "I think that there's a greater understanding of what happened during that period and perhaps there has been other legislation that was considered more important than financial reparation.

"I think that Jersey has been in the forefront in terms of other political issues in dealing with the effects of the Occupation and I think the financial restitution has to come second to other issues."

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