Project HEART announced Monday that its searchable database of Holocaust era property records now contains 1.5 million records, making the database the largest, publically available single-source database of lost Jewish property assets from the Holocaust era.
The online database was first unveiled on May 1, 2011, at which time, it contained over 500,000 records. Since that time, the Project HEART database has received a record amount of hits from users worldwide.
The records were compiled and made available by Project HEART (Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce), an initiative of the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), in cooperation and with the support of the Government of Israel, to help Jewish families identify personal property confiscated by the Nazis and to help victims seek restitution.[ Also Read: Project to Identify Jewish Property Seized by Nazis ]
The 1.5 million records contained in Project HEART’s online database consist of property addresses, lists of homeowners, professions, lists of known confiscated properties, business directories, insurance policies, and other archival information that can assist potential applicants in their research.
Project HEART’s executive director, Bobby Brown, stated that the addition of approximately 1 million records since the database was first posted on May 1, 2011, demonstrates Project HEART’s commitment to “list every piece of private property that we can find, for which the Jewish people declare they never received compensation.”[ Also Read: If Jews were put into Gas Chambers in Soviet Union ]
Launched in late February 2011, Project HEART seeks to identify Jewish Holocaust victims and their heirs worldwide whose families owned real estate, movable, immovable, or other intangible personal property that was confiscated, looted, or forcibly sold in countries governed or occupied by the Nazi forces or Axis powers during the Holocaust era.
The only limitation for application is if restitution has been made to a victim or the victim’s heirs for that property after the Holocaust era; then they are not eligible for further restitution in connection with that property.
The online database will also serve as a tool during future efforts to achieve restitution on behalf of eligible participants, since the records contained in the database will complement as well as legitimize the information submitted by Holocaust victims and their heirs.