Why We Have Convened the Conference

Dear friends and partners,

On behalf of the European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI), I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of you, who have joined in the process of planning and preparation for the Immovable Property Review Conference 2012 (IPRC 2012) to be held in Prague this coming November. Specifically, I would like to thank the U.S. Department of State, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, which kindly provided auspices to the conference, and to the informal grouping of diplomats supporting our preparation and coordination efforts here in Prague and, last but not least, to the responsible Immovable Property Working Group of the Advisory Council of the ESLI.

This broad and generous support enabled ESLI a successful launch of the preparatory process leading up to the conference, the organization of which has been bestowed on us by the relevant provisions of the 2010 Restitution Guidelines in particular and the 2009 Terezin Declaration in general. As required by these documents of utmost moral importance, the conference will review the developments in the field of restitutions and compensations of Nazi confiscated and otherwise misappropriated properties, which have taken place during the last two years.

As a coordinating institution, ESLI shall contribute to this process by an intensive communication with all the prospective partners and participants and by collecting relevant background materials. However, it is to be noted, that no matter how much energy ESLI invests, further cooperation with you, the partners is crucial and indispensable, in order to reach the intended goals. I very much appreciate the already received contributions of some of the partners and continue to ask for further relevant assistance.


Jaroslav Šonka