Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation
Resulting from the Anti-Semitic Legislation in Force during the Occupation

The CIVS History Committee

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The CIVS History Committee, which operates under the scientific leadership of Ms Anne Grynberg, a professor of contemporary history and a member of the CIVS Deliberative Panel, was established by the French Prime Minister on 3 August 2007. Its mission, which was extended in 2012 for a further period of one year, pursues the following objectives:

  • Analysing the genesis of the CIVS and the conditions under which it was established and under which it operates, and drafting an initial, objective assessment of its action;

  • Viewing this history in the context of French compensation policy from immediately after the war until the present day, and studying the various steps of reparation for the spoliation of material property that was a component of Jewish persecution in the 1940s;

  • Tracing the history and preserving the memory of Jewish families in France, during the war and the Occupation and in the framework of post-war reconstruction;

  • Conducting a study that compares France with other (Eastern and Western) European and non-European countries by confronting the views of researchers working in this domain as well as those of actors in various national commissions that have been established since the 1990s.

The History Committee’s main accomplishments are as follows:

  • The publication, in spring 2013, of a work entitled L’Irréparable. Itinéraires d‘artistes et d’amateurs d’art juifs, réfugiés du «Troisième Reich», a collection of personal accounts by Jewish artists from Germany and Austria who sought refuge in France as of 1933 and were spoliated and persecuted in both countries. This project was undertaken in collaboration with the German Office for Research into Spoliated Cultural Property (Koordinierungsstelle für Kulturgutverluste), the headquarters of which is located in Magdebourg.
  • The organisation of a study day on 14 April 2013, in the framework of the La spoliation des Juifs : une politique d’État (1940-1944) exhibition staged by the Shoah Memorial, on the theme of the ‘Restitution of spoliated ‘Jewish property’, compensation, ‘reparation(s)“.

  • The organisation of a workshop for international research on the theme of ‘The Politics of Repair: Restitution and Reparations in the Wake of the Holocaust’, held at the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington from 22 July to 3 August 2013.

  • Still to come: the publication of three volumes corresponding to different elements of its mission, including a history of the CIVS and, in a larger sense, analysed in the long term, a study of French ‘reparation’ policy, a collection of testimonials from people who have filed a compensation claim with the CIVS,recounting what happened to their families during those dark years and in the post-war period and sharing their experiences of contact with the CIVS and their feelings about that contact, and a study that will indicate France’s situation in this regard, as compared with other European countries.