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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 23, 1998


Today I am pleased to sign into law S. 1900, the "U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998." This legislation is the result of the bipartisan support of the Congress, and the efforts of many people inside and outside of government who have worked to achieve its passage. It represents an important step in advancing the United States Government's efforts to bring justice to Holocaust victims, survivors, and their heirs.

The bill establishes the "Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States." The Commission will focus on two key tasks: first, it will conduct original research on the collection and disposition of Holocaust-era assets that came under the control of the United States Government after Hitler came to power in 1933 (assets including gold, gems, bank accounts, financial instruments, insurance policies, and art works); and second, it will review research already conducted by public and private entities. The Commission will prepare a final report, summarizing its findings and making recommendations to me, which will be completed by December 31, 1999.

As we finish the business of the 20th century, we must examine difficult aspects of our history in order to build a better world for our children in the next millennium. Establishing a Commission to study these issues sends a strong message, both at home and abroad, that the United States Government is determined to acknowledge and address the fate of Holocaust assets domestically.


                              THE WHITE HOUSE,
                              June 23, 1998.

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