Croatia will give a government-owned 6-storey downtown Zagreb building and surrounding land as restitution for a building once owned by local Jewish burial society which was expropriated during World War II. The Nazi-allied government confiscated the original building during the war and it was nationalized by the Communist government.
“This is a long-awaited, but important first step in addressing the legacy of the Holocaust in Croatia and in ensuring that the Jewish community can continue to revitalize itself in a democratic Croatia,” said Daniel Mariaschin, head of the World Jewish Restitution Organization team in a press release.
In 1997, the Zagreb Jewish Community filed a claim for the return of the original building, which was built in 1927 by the Jewish burial society. There were around 25,000 Jews living in Croatia before World War II. Today that number stands around 2,000, with most based in the capital Zagreb.