"In concealing nothing about the dark hours of our history we are simply standing up for a vision of humanity, of human liberty and dignity"
Jacques Chirac, extract from the speech delivered on 16 July 1995, at the commemoration of the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup
76.000 Jews were deported from France between 1942 and 1944.
"100.000 objects and work of art were looted, along with several million books."
Jean Mattéoli, Working Party on the Spoliation of Jews in France : general report, 2000.
Contact the CIVS by post :
66, rue de Bellechasse 75007 Paris
or by email :
In February, the painting by Camille Pissarro The Louvre and the Seine from the Pont-Neuf was returned to the heirs of Max Heilbronn, who founded the Monoprix retail chain in 1932, fought for the French Resistance and was deported in 1944 to Buchenwald before serving as Chairman of the upmarket department store Galeries Lafayette between 1945 and 1971. Placed in a bank safe deposit box, the painting had been spoliated by the Germans during World War II.
In March, Paul Signac’s painting Sailing ship in a Western port will be returned to its rightful owners, the heirs of Marcel Koch who co-founded La Documentation française. In 1940 the Geheime Feldpolizei gave it to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as a thank you gift for a series of concerts in the East of France, and it has been in the latter’s possession ever since. This return has been made possible thanks to the CIVS’ expertise in seeking out heirs, mediation skills and knowledge of the history of spoliations.
On 21 October 2016, at the CIVS headquarters, Michel Jeannoutot, Chairman of the CIVS, and Bruno Bloch, Chairman of the Cercle de Généalogie Juive, signed an agreement setting out the terms and conditions for a new cooperative undertaking.
The CIVS provides the Prime Minister with the means to provide compensation for the material and financial spoliations that took place in France during the Occupation.
Bank-related compensation is governed by the Washington Agreement, signed between the French and American governments on 18 January 2001.
Claimants must complete a questionnaire, available on this website, stating the name of the victim and the nature of the spoliation that took place.