European Shoah Legacy Institute

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The European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI) was a public-benefit corporation based in Prague, in the Czech Republic[1] whose purpose was to oversee the return of Jewish art and property seized by the Nazis during The Holocaust.[2][3][4]

At the end of August 2017, with the assistance of the Israeli Ministry of Social Equality, the European Shoah Legacy Institute closed.[5] As of February 2018, ESLI's website says that their work has concluded due to changes in the field and that ESLI's "services as an umbrella organization are no longer in demand".[6]


The European Shoah Legacy Institute was created on Januar 20, 2010, as a follow-up to the Terezin Declaration. The Institute was incorporated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The public benefit corporation cooperated with governments and non-governmental organizations to seek solutions for the restitution of immovable property, art, Judaica and Jewish cultural assets, adequate social welfare for Holocaust survivors, and the promotion of Holocaust education, research, and remembrance.[7] The Institute served as a vehicle or catalyst for the parties already active in this field, helping them to identify and develop best practices and guidelines of work. The sphere of action of the Institute was international, involving the European Union, other European countries, as well as countries from all around the world. The Institute also worked closely with non-European states, particularly with the United States and Israel.[8] Aside from promoting the issue of restitution or compensation for Holocaust era assets, the Institute participated in a variety of other activities dealing with the legacy of the Holocaust in all its aspects.[citation needed]

Oversight of the Institute was conducted by an Administrative Board and monitored by a Supervisory Board. The Administrative Board was composed solely of Czech citizens, while the Supervisory board could include international representatives of partner organizations with the Institute. The Advisory Council consisted of international participants, typically experts in their fields, who served as the consulting body to the Director of ESLI. Members of the Honorary Board introduced and promoted the Institute on the highest levels of world politics.


  1. ^ "European Shoah Legacy Institute´s unique advisory body has launched its operation". Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "European institute to help Jews recover lost art, property confiscated by Nazis". The Daily News. Reuters. 29 June 2009. 
  3. ^ Nelson, Kathryn Lee Boyd & Kristen (2016-07-21). "Report from Jerusalem: The continuing struggle for Holocaust justice". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  4. ^ Borschel-Dan, Amanda; Bachner, Michael; Bachner, Michael (2016-06-10). "At international forum on Holocaust restitution, 'J'accuse' against Poland". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Poland and the WWII reparations". 2017-12-23. Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Terezin Declaration". Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Israel Joins European Shoah Legacy Institute". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 

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