Legislative History of Holocaust-Related Legislation, 1995-1999*

(November 24, 1999)


Bill Summary & Status for Holocaust-related
Proposals in the 106th Congress
 

S. 1520 The U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999 (Introduced 08/05/99)

SPONSOR: Sen. Smith, Gordon

SUMMARY: A bill to amend the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 to extend the period by which the final report is due and to authorize additional funding.

STATUS: Aug 5, 99: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking.
 

H.R. 2781 (Introduced 08/05/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Pallone, Frank, Jr.

SUMMARY: A bill to amend the International Claims Settlement Act of 1949 to provide for the settlement of claims relating to American victims of National Socialist persecution.

STATUS: Aug 5, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
 

H.R. 2401 U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Extension Act of 1999 (Introduced 06/30/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Lazio, Rick

SUMMARY: A bill to amend the U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 to extend the period by which the final report is due and to authorize additional funding.

STATUS: Jun 30, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services.
 

H.R. 1788 Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 1999 (Introduced 05/13/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Franks

SUMMARY: Nazi Benefits Termination Act of 1999 - Denies Federal public benefits to individuals who have been participants in Nazi persecution. Authorizes the Attorney General, if an individual who has applied for or is receiving a Federal public benefit may have been such a participant, to provide an opportunity for a hearing on the record with respect to the matter. Allows the Attorney General to delegate the conduct of the hearing to an immigration judge.

Describes hearing procedures under this Act. Requires an immigration judge who finds that the respondent has been a participant in Nazi persecution to: (1) promptly issue an order declaring the respondent to be ineligible for any Federal public benefit and prohibiting any person from providing such a benefit to the respondent; and(2) transmit a copy of the order to any governmental entity or person known to be so providing such a benefit.

Authorizes the Attorney General to review any finding or conclusion made, or order issued, and to complete the review within a specified period, or the finding, conclusion, or order shall be final.

Provides for any party aggrieved by a final order issued under this Act to obtain judicial review of the order by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

STATUS: May 13, 99: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

May 21, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology.

Jul 21, 99: Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.

Jul 21, 99 Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote.

May 13, 99: Referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

May 21, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.

Jun 22, 99: Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.

Jun 22, 99: Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee by Voice Vote.

Jul 20, 99: Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.

Jul 20, 99: Ordered to be Reported by Voice Vote.
 

S. 779 A bill to provide that no Federal income tax shall be imposed on amounts received by Holocaust victims or their heirs. (Introduced 04/13/99)

SPONSOR: Sen. Abraham, Spencer

SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt from Federal income tax any amounts received by Holocaust victims or their heirs: (1) from the Swiss Humanitarian Fund established by the Government of Switzerland or from any similar fund established by any foreign country; or (2) as a result of the settlement of the action entitled "In re Holocaust Victims' Asset Litigation", (E.D. NY), C.A. No. 96-4849, or as a result of any similar action.

STATUS: Apr 13, 99 - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.
 

H.R. 1292 A bill to provide that no Federal income tax shall be imposed on amounts received by Holocaust victims or their heirs. (Introduced 03/25/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Weller, Jerry

SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income any amount received by an individual (or any heir of the individual) from any person as a result of any moral or legal injustice experienced by such individual as a Holocaust victim persecuted for racial or religious reasons by Nazi Germany or any other Axis regime.

STATUS: Mar 25, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
 

H.R. 824 A bill expressing the sense of the Congress that the Government of Poland should address the claims of Polish Americans whose homes and properties were wrongfully expropriated under Poland's former totalitarian government. (Introduced 02/24/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Barcia, James A.

SUMMARY: Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the President should inform the Polish Government of Polish-Americans who deserve to have their citizenship restored and claims to their wrongfully expropriated homes and properties considered under a fair rule of law that provides for compensation and restitution regardless of a claimant's current nationality; (2) the Polish Government should fulfill its responsibilities to consider the claims of these victims under such rule; and (3) the President should instruct U.S. representatives to all multilateral treaty-based institutions to work to deny admission or financial benefits to the Polish Government until it fulfills these responsibilities.

STATUS: Feb 24, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
 

H.R. 390 A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income amounts received for settlement of certain claims of Holocaust survivors. (Introduced 01/19/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. McIntosh, David M.

SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from gross income a Holocaust victims' settlement payment.

STATUS: Jan 19, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
 

H.R. 271 Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act (Introduced 01/06/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh

SUMMARY: Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act - Amends the Federal judicial code to make an exception to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state in certain cases where money damages are sought for the personal injury of a U.S. citizen caused by an act of genocide occurring during World War II in the predecessor states of the Federal Republic of Germany, or in any territories or areas occupied, annexed, or otherwise controlled by those states. Sets the venue for such cases.

Makes an exception to immunity from attachment with respect to such CLAIMS.

STATUS: Jan 6, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Feb 25, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.
 

H.R. 126 Holocaust Victims Insurance Act (Introduced 01/06/99)

SPONSOR: Rep. Engel, Eliot L.

SUMMARY: Holocaust Victims Insurance Act - Requires any person engaged in the insurance business in the United States directly or through a related company during the period 1920 to 1945 to report to the Secretary of Commerce within 90 days of the enactment of this Act on the current status of the insurance policies issued during such period. Imposes a civil penalty upon any person who does not file a report. Directs the Secretary to immediately upon receipt transmit such reports to the House and Senate Committees on Commerce.

Requires a person engaged in the insurance business that determines that it issued insurance policies to individuals who were Holocaust victims to pay to the beneficiaries or descendants of the victims the proceeds of such policies. Encourages strongly any such person who does not have records of the individuals to whom it issued life insurance policies during the period 1920 to 1945 to establish a substantial monetary fund to compensate Holocaust victims. Requires the Secretary to report to the House and Senate Committees on Commerce on the number of individuals who were Holocaust victims who held life insurance policies during the period 1920 to 1945.

Directs the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to develop a registry of those who died in the Holocaust which shall be made available to the public, including insurance companies preparing a report under this Act. Authorizes appropriations.

Prohibits any action brought by a Holocaust victim or heir or beneficiary of a Holocaust victim seeking proceeds of such policies issued or in effect between 1920 and 1945 from being dismissed for failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitations or laches provided the action is commenced on or before December 31, 2010.

STATUS: Jan 6, 99 - Referred to the House Committee on Commerce.

Jan 19, 99: Referred to the Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials.

Bill Summary & Status for Holocaust-related
Proposals in the 105th Congress

I. Enacted or Adopted Legislation

S. 1564 Holocaust Victims Redress Act (Introduced 11/13/97) Public Law: 105-158 (02/13/98)

SPONSOR: Sen. D'Amato

SUMMARY: Title I of this act directs the President to instruct the commissioner representing the United States on the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold to seek and vote for a timely agreement under which all signatories to the Paris Agreement on Reparations with claims against the monetary gold pool in the Commission's jurisdiction contribute all or a substantial portion of such gold to charitable organizations to assist survivors of the Holocaust. As an inducement to do so, it authorizes the President to obligate up to $30 million for such distribution (this sum represents the present value of the difference between what Congress originally authorized as compensation for the assets of heirless victims of the Holocaust either seized or frozen in the United States at the onset of World War II and the amount actually paid in 1962). Of the $30 million authorized, $25 million is to go to organizations paying restitution to Holocaust victims, and $5 million for archival research to assist in the restitution of assets looted or extorted from victims of the Holocaust and such other activities that would further Holocaust remembrance and education. Title II expresses the sense of the Congress that all governments undertake good faith efforts to return works of art confiscated from rightful owners during the period of Nazi rule.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

02/13/98 Public Law 105-158 (2/23/98 CR D100)

02/04/98 Measure presented to President (CR S378)
02/04/98 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate (CR S378)
02/04/98 Enrolled Measure signed in House (CR H327)
01/27/98 Measure passed House (CR H8)
01/27/98 Measure considered in House (CR H2-8)
01/27/98 Called up by unanimous consent discharging House Committee on International Relations (CR H2)
11/13/97 Referred to House Committee on International Relations (CR H10951-10952)
11/13/97 Measure passed Senate (CR S12706)
11/13/97 Measure considered in Senate (CR S12706-12707)
11/13/97 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S12706)
 

S. 1900 U.S. Holocaust Assets Commission Act of 1998 (Introduced 04/01/98) Public Law: 105-186 (06/23/98)

SPONSOR: Sen. D'Amato

SUMMARY: The 105th Congress enacted Public Law 105-186 to create and establish the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. The commission is required to study, and develop an historical record of, the disposition of specified assets of Holocaust victims, survivors, and heirs that are in the possession or control of the U.S. government.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

06/23/98 Public Law 105-186 (6/25/98 CR D715)
06/18/98 Measure presented to President (CR S6563)
06/18/98 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate (CR S6563)
06/17/98 Enrolled Measure signed in House (CR H4710)
06/10/98 Senate agreed to House amendment (CR S6129)
06/09/98 Measure passed House, amended, in lieu of H.R. 3662 (CR H4273)
06/09/98 Measure considered in House (CR H4271-4273)
06/09/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in House (CR H4271)
05/01/98 Measure passed Senate, amended (CR S4136)
05/01/98 Measure considered in Senate (CR S4133-4136)
05/01/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S4133)
04/30/98 Reported to Sen. from Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, amended(without written report)(CR S3918)
 

S. 1379 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (Introduced 11/05/97) Public Law: 105-246 (10/08/98)

SPONSOR: Sen. DeWine

SUMMARY: This act amends the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) to establish a presumption that Nazi war criminal records are to be made available to the public. This in effect would require all materials to be released in their entirety unless a Federal agency head concludes that the release of all or part of the records would compromise privacy or national security interests. The agency head must notify Congress of any decision not to release the records.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

10/08/98 Public Law 105-246 (10/9/98 CR D1144)
09/28/98 Measure presented to President (CR S11041)
09/10/98 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate (CR S10204)
09/09/98 Enrolled Measure signed in House (CR H7486)
08/06/98 Measure passed House (CR H7297)
08/06/98 Measure considered in House (CR H7295-7297)
08/06/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in House (CR H7295)
06/19/98 Measure passed Senate, amended (CR S6730)
06/19/98 Measure considered in Senate (CR S6724-6730)
06/19/98 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S6724)
03/05/98 Reported to Senate from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendment (without written report) (CR S1435)
 

H.R. 4193/S. 2237 (H.R. 4193 was introduced by Rep. Regula on July 8, 1998; S. 2237 was introduced by Sen. Gorton on June 26, 1998) FY1999 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill Public Law: 105-277

SPONSORS: Rep. Regula (H.R. 4193); Sen. Gorton (S. 2237)

SUMMARY: These bills, a House and Senate version of The FY1999 Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, include funding for programs in five separate federal departments, as well as numerous smaller related agencies including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council that oversees the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: H.R. 4193 was introduced by Rep. Regula on July 8, 1998. Reported to the House from the Committee on Appropriations ( H.Rept. 105-609.) Passed the House July 23, 1998. S. 2237 was ordered reported as an original measure on June 25, 1998. Reported to the Senate from the Committee on Appropriations by Senator Gorton on June 26, 1998 with written report (S.Rept. 105-227.) Continuing resolutions were passed and enacted (P.L. 105-240, P.L. 105-253, P.L. 105-254, H.J.Res. 135) as a temporary authority for appropriations, while awaiting passage of an omnibus appropriations bill, H.R. 4328, which was passed by the House on October 20 and by the Senate October 21, 1998 and signed into law (P.L. 105-277) that same day.
 

H. RES. 557 A resolution expressing support for U. S. government efforts to identify Holocaust-era assets, urging the restitution of individual and communal property, and for other purposes. (Introduced 09/28/98) Passed by the House, October 9.

SPONSOR: Rep. Lantos

SUMMARY: This resolution expresses House support for U. S. government efforts to identify Holocaust-era assets, urges European governments to intensify activities aimed at restitution of unjustly seized Holocaust-era property, and addresses a number of other Holocaust-related issues.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Introduced by Rep. Lantos, September 28, 1998. Referred to the Committee on International Relations. Approved by the Committee on International Relations, October 2. Called up by the House under suspension of the rules, October 8. Passed by the House, October 9.
 

II. Legislation Not Passed at October Adjournment

H.R. 3121 Holocaust Victims Insurance Act (Introduced 01/28/98)

SPONSOR: Rep. Engel

SUMMARY: This bill would have required all insurance companies doing business in the United States between 1920 and 1945 to report to the Commerce Department on the current status of the insurance policies issued during that period. It required such companies that issued insurance policies to Holocaust victims to pay to the beneficiaries or descendants of the victims the proceeds of such policies. It extended any applicable statute of limitations on such claims to the year 2010. It encouraged firms that do not have records of the individuals to whom they issued life insurance policies during that period to establish a substantial monetary fund to compensate Holocaust victims. It directed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to develop a registry of those who died in the Holocaust which shall be made available to the public, including insurance companies preparing a report under this Act.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: February 11, 1998 - Referred to the Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials
 

H.R. 3143 Comprehensive Holocaust Accountability in Insurance Measure (Introduced 02/03/98)

SPONSOR: Rep. Foley

SUMMARY: Title I: Provisions Applicable To Certain Foreign Insurance Companies - identified those foreign insurance companies which, as a prerequisite to conducting any form of business in the United States (or with a U.S. bank), must first disclose to the Attorney General the name of any individual with whom such companies had any financial dealing and who is a Holocaust survivor or victim. It also directed the Attorney General to make such names public. Title II: Provisions Applicable To United States Banking Institutions - prohibited U.S. banks and financial institutions from engaging in specified financial transactions with or on behalf of a foreign insurance company listed under title I until the Attorney General confirms that such company has complied with the disclosure requirements of this Act.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to the Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Finance and Hazardous Materials, February 11, 1998. Also referred to the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, February 20, 1998.
 

H.R. 4138 Stolen Artwork Restitution Act of 1998 (Introduced 6-25-98)

SPONSOR: Rep. Schumer

SUMMARY: This bill deals with the restitution of stolen artwork to the original owners or to family members. The Attorney General would be the coordinating official authorized to make grants to research organizations in the identification and the relocation of stolen art work. The Attorney General would also be required to undertake an inquiry of all artwork in the possession of the Federal Government to determine whether any such artwork is stolen property.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary on June 25, 1998 and referred to the Subcommittee on Crime on July 7, 1998.
 

H.R. 4563 Amending the Internal Revenue Code to Exclude Income Received for Settlement of Claims of Holocaust Victims (Introduced 9-14-98)

SPONSOR: Rep. McIntosh

SUMMARY: This bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income amounts received for settlement of certain claims of Holocaust victims or their heirs.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Referred to the Ways and Means Committee, September 14, 1998.
 

Bill Summary & Status for Holocaust-related
Proposals in the 104th Congress

I. Enacted or Adopted Legislation

H.R. 1281 War Crimes Disclosure Act (Introduced 03/21/95) Public Law: 104-309 (10/19/96)

SPONSOR: Rep. Maloney

SUMMARY: Expresses the sense of the Congress that U.S. Government agencies in possession of records about individuals who are alleged to have committed Nazi war crimes should make these records public.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

10/19/96 Public Law 104-309
10/10/96 Measure presented to President (10/21/96 CR H12304)
10/09/96 Enrolled Measure signed in Senate
10/09/96 Enrolled Measure signed in House (10/21/96 CR H12303)
10/03/96 Measure passed Senate (CR S12402)
10/03/96 Measure considered in Senate (CR S12401-12402)
10/03/96 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S12401)
09/24/96 Measure passed House, amended (CR H10819)
09/24/96 Measure considered in House (CR H10817-10819)
09/24/96 Measure called up under motion to suspend rules and pass in House (CR H10817)
09/24/96 Committees on the Judiciary; and Intelligence discharged in House (CR H11046)
09/24/96 Reported to House from Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, amended, H. Rept. 104-819 (Pt I) (CR H11046)
 

II. Legislation Not Passed at Adjournment

S. RES. 193 A resolution deploring individuals who deny the historical reality of the Holocaust and commending the vital, ongoing work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Introduced 11/09/95)

SPONSOR: Sen. Hatch

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Deplores efforts to deny the historical reality of the Holocaust. Commends the work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

11/09/95 Measure passed Senate (CR S16934)
11/09/95 Measure considered in Senate (CR S16934)
11/09/95 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S16934)
 

H. RES. 316 A resolution deploring individuals who deny the historical reality of the Holocaust and commending the vital, ongoing work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Introduced 12/20/95)

SPONSOR: Rep. Gilman

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Deplores efforts to deny the historical reality of the Holocaust. Commends the work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

04/16/96 Measure passed House, roll call #120 (420-0) (CR H3435)
04/16/96 Measure considered in House (CR H3419-3423, H3434-3435)
04/16/96 Measure called up under motion to suspend rules and pass in House (CR H3419)
 

S. CON. RES. 5/ H. CON. RES. 20 A concurrent resolution permitting the use of the Capitol for a ceremony to commemorate the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. (S. Con. Res. 5 introduced 02/07/95; S. Con. Res.20 introduced 01/25/95)

SPONSORS: Sen. Stevens (S. CON. RES. 5); Rep. Yates (H. CON. RES. 20)

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Allows use of the rotunda of the Capitol on April 27, 1995, for a ceremony to observe the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Feb 7, 95: S. Con. Res. 5 - Referred to the Committee on Rules.

H. Con. Res. 20:

03/01/95 Measure passed Senate (CR S3305)
03/01/95 Measure considered in Senate (CR S3305)
03/01/95 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S3305)
02/23/95 Measure passed House, amended (CR H2086)
02/23/95 Measure considered in House (CR H2086-2087)
02/23/95 Called up by unanimous consent discharging House Committee on Oversight (CR H2086)
 

H. CON. RES. 115 A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the inadequacy of German reparations for Holocaust survivors living in the United States. (Introduced 11/17/95)

SPONSOR: Rep Yates

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should: (1) convey to the Government of Germany the concern of the U.S. Government regarding the onerous eligibility requirements imposed by Germany on the payment of reparations for Holocaust survivors living in the United States; and (2) urge such Government to take actions to ensure that fair and full reparations will be expeditiously paid to such survivors.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Nov 17, 95 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
 

H.R. 3257 A bill to develop model curricula appropriate for elementary and secondary students. (Introduced 04/16/96)

SPONSOR: Rep. Zimmer

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Amends Federal law relating to the establishment of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council to add to the Council's functions the development of model curricula, appropriate for children in
kindergarten through 12th grade, that shall be made available to a school upon request.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Apr 16, 96: Referred to the House Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities.
May 6, 96: Referred to the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families.
 

H. CON. RES. 215 A concurrent resolution to encourage the Secretary of State, foreign nations, and others to work together to help reunite family members separated during the Holocaust. (Introduced 09/17/96)

SPONSOR: Rep. Franks, B.

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Encourages the Secretary of State, foreign nations, and organizations such as the Red Cross and Israel's Jewish Agency to coordinate efforts to help reunite family members separated during the Holocaust.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Sep 17, 96: Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
 

H. RES. 501 A resolution calling upon the Government of Germany to negotiate in good faith regarding expansion of eligibility for Holocaust survivor compensation. (Introduced 07/31/96)

SPONSOR: Rep. Maloney

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Calls upon the Government of Germany to negotiate in good faith with the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany to broaden the categories of those eligible for compensation.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: July 31, 96: Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
 

S. RES. 74 A resolution commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. (Introduced 01/26/95)

SPONSOR: Sen. Bradley

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Commemorates January 27, 1995, as the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Allied forces in the Second World War. Calls upon all Americans to remember the victims murdered at Auschwitz as part of the Holocaust.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

01/26/95 Measure passed Senate (CR S1604)
01/26/95 Measure considered in Senate (CR S1601-1604)
01/26/95 Measure called up by unanimous consent in Senate (CR S1601)
 

H. RES. 398 A resolution condemning the construction of a shopping center within the internationally protected zone around the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. (Introduced 03/29/96)

SPONSOR: Rep. Engel

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Condemns the construction of the shopping center within the internationally protected zone around the Auschwitz death camp as a violation of international legal conventions signed by Poland and as a trivialization and desecration of the site. Calls upon the Government of Poland to: (1) overrule local authorities, comply with its international legal obligations, and permanently halt commercial construction at such site; and (2) permanently close the grounds within the internationally protected zone around it to any development. Recognizes the special nature of the death camp and the sanctity of the ground upon which it rests.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Mar 29, 96 - Referred to the House Committee on International Relations.
 

S. 2048 War Crimes Disclosure Act (Introduced 08/02/96)

SPONSOR: Sen. Moynihan

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) War Crimes Disclosure Act - Requires disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of any matter in the possession of specified Federal agencies that relates to any individual who participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion at the direction of, or in association with, the Nazi government of Germany.

Provides disclosure exceptions, such as for the protection of intelligence agents and informants or for compelling national security reasons. Requires disclosure of information that can be reasonably separated from excepted information.

Amends the National Security Act of 1947 to provide that the exemption from public disclosure authorized under such Act for operational files of the Central Intelligence Agency shall not apply to information regarding Nazi war crimes participants.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Aug 2, 96 - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
 

H.R. 3352 Varian Fry Gold Medal Act (Introduced 04/30/96)

SPONSOR: Rep. Hastings

SUMMARY: (AS INTRODUCED) Varian Fry Gold Medal Act - Authorizes the President to present, on behalf of the Congress, a gold medal to the representatives of the late Varian Fry in recognition of the tremendous effort he made at great personal risk to secure the escape of thousands of trapped Jewish artists, writers, and intellectuals from the Nazis in Europe. Authorizes appropriations.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Apr 30, 96: Referred to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

May 3, 96: Referred to the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy.


* Prepared by Michael John Matheron, Senior Paralegal Specialist, American Law Division and Barbara A. Salazar, Information Research Specialist, Information Research Division.


Source: Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress for the U.S. House International Relations Committee.