Rajika L. Shah's scientific contributions

Publications (51)

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Yugoslavia (which included present-day Serbia) was invaded by the Axis powers in 1941. Nazi Germany established a brutal occupation. Other parts of modern-day Serbia were occupied by Hungary, Bulgaria and Italy. Roughly 85 percent of the Jews who lived in Serbia before World War II were murdered. Postwar war Yugoslavia enacted a short-lived propert...
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Yugoslavia (which included present-day Croatia) was invaded by the Axis powers in 1941 and immovable property was confiscated. After the war, Yugoslavia enacted a property restitution law, but it was short-lived. As Yugoslavia fell under Communist rule, widespread nationalization—which this time occurred irrespective of race, religion, or ethnicity...
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Australia declared war on Germany and was a member of the Allied powers during World War II. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was confiscated from Jews or other targeted groups in Australia during the war. As a result, no immovable property restitution laws were required. Australia endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009 and th...
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Austria was annexed to the German Reich in 1938, and more than one-third of its prewar Jewish population of 200,000 died during the Holocaust. The systematic confiscation of Jewish immovable property began in 1938 by Austrian and German Nazis and was carried out by official and unofficial measures. A series of Restitution Acts was enacted between 1...
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Uruguay was a neutral country for most of World War II, but supported the Allied forces at the end of the war. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was taken from Jews or other targeted groups in Uruguay during the war. As a result, no immovable property restitution laws were required. Uruguay endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 200...
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Yugoslavia (which included present-day Montenegro) was invaded by the Axis powers in 1941 and immovable property was confiscated. Only an estimated 30 Jews lived in Montenegro prior to World War II. During the war, Montenegro received Jewish refugees from neighboring Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. After the war, Yugoslavia enacted a property restit...
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During World War II, Greece was occupied by three of the Axis powers (Bulgaria, Germany, and Italy) and divided into zones of occupation. The safety and security of Jews in Greece varied greatly by occupation zone, but by the end of the war, less than 15 percent of the country’s prewar Jewish population had survived. Greece passed its first propert...
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In 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union, in violation of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The invasion marked the beginning of what Russia would later call the Great Patriotic War during which the Soviet Union suffered tens of millions of civilian and military losses. Private property in the Soviet Union was earlier confiscated through Lenin and...
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Canada declared war on Germany and was a member of the Allied powers during World War II. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was confiscated from Jews or other targeted groups in Canada during the war. As a result, no immovable property restitution laws were required. Canada endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009 and the Guideli...
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Romania was allied with Germany for most of World War II. Extensive “Romanianization” (akin to Germany’s Aryanization) of Jewish property took place. More than 400,000 Romanian Jews died during the Holocaust. After switching sides in the war, Romania promptly enacted legislation to reverse the theft of property. Little was done, however, to act on...
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Fascist Italy under Mussolini joined Germany as an Axis power in 1939, and passed numerous laws that restricted the rights of Italian Jews. After the establishment of the Nazi-controlled Italian Social Republic in northern Italy, a German Command ordered the arrest of all Jews and confiscation of their property for the benefit of those who lost pro...
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Germany invaded Denmark in 1940. The country was granted relative autonomy until 1943, with the forced deportation of Danish Jews. With the assistance of Danish religious and nonreligious groups, several thousand Danish Jews were transported by boat to neutral Sweden, but hundreds were still captured and sent to concentration camps. There was no st...
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During World War II, Norway was occupied by Germany. Its collaborationist government and Nazi administration passed laws stripping Norwegian Jews of their property. Norway’s government-in-exile in London passed a decree during the war guaranteeing the restitution of private and communal property. After the war, all property—whether owned by Jews or...
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The Conclusion provides a summary of the European Shoah Legacy Institute’s (ESLI) Immovable Property Restitution Study’s findings in each of the key areas of private, communal, and heirless property for the 47 Terezin Declaration countries, with primary emphasis on European belligerents during World War II. It also offers a task list for as-yet-to-...
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During World War II, Slovakia (previously part of the independent country of Czechoslovakia) became a vassal state of Nazi Germany. Roughly 70,000 Jews were deported from Slovakia. Immediately after World War II, Czechoslovakia enacted legislation invalidating property transfers made during Nazi occupation. The measures were short-lived, however, b...
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Ukraine was invaded and dismantled in 1941 when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. Most of Ukraine was ruled by the Germans, but Romania was awarded large parts of southern Romania. Notwithstanding the systematic plunder of Jewish property in Ukraine during the war, to date, Ukraine does not have any laws governing the restitution of private property...
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Portugal was ruled from 1932 to 1968 by dictator António Salazar, who, unlike Spain’s Francisco Franco, did not enter into an alliance with Nazi Germany. Along with European states like Switzerland and Sweden, Portugal remained neutral during World War II. As a result, Salazar’s Portugal continued to trade with both the Axis and the Allied powers....
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Albania was occupied by Fascist Italy and then Nazi Germany during World War II. Albania’s occupation experience was unique among all Axis-occupied countries. Despite Nazi Germany’s attempt to carry out the genocide of the Jews (the so-called Final Solution), Albanians resisted. Albania was the only Nazi-occupied country where the Jewish population...
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The Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany in May 1940 and remained at least partially occupied in the north through May 1945. A key feature of the German occupying administration was implementing what has come to be described as “looting by decree” of Jewish property and possessions. Of the more than 100,000 Jews who were deported by the German...
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Between 1939 and 1944, Finland fought two separate wars against the Soviet Union. In 1941, Finland entered World War II aligned with Nazi Germany in its fight against the Soviet Union. Finland was never conquered or occupied by Germany, nor were any anti-Jewish laws passed in the country. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was tak...
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In September 1939, the United Kingdom declared war against Germany. During the war, London was home to a number of governments in exile. Jewish property in the United Kingdom was not looted or seized, and British Jews, with the exception of those in the German-occupied Channel Islands, were not persecuted. In the decade after the war, the United Ki...
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Cyprus was a British Crown colony during World War II. Cyprus was a haven to refugees escaping Nazi persecution during World War II, and after concentration camps in Europe were liberated, detention centers were set up on the island by the British in an effort to curtail survivors from entering British Mandate Palestine. No immovable property—priva...
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During World War II, the independent Republic of Latvia was attacked and formally annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. It was subsequently invaded and occupied by Germany in 1941 until Soviet troops re-entered the country in 1944. Shortly after Latvia’s independence was restored in 1990, Latvia began enacting private property restitution laws. The...
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World War II began with the German invasion of Poland, and led to the murder of approximately 90 percent of the Jewish population in Poland. Immediately after the war, Poland passed laws reversing property confiscations carried out by the German occupiers. Former Jewish owners, however, often faced threats when they tried to retake their pre-war pr...
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Sweden maintained a policy of uneven neutrality throughout World War II. While the Swedish government initially maintained a strict anti-immigrant policy, attitudes changed once World War II began. When Swedish authorities learned in 1942 that the Germans sought to deport Jews from Denmark and Norway, they aided in the rescue of thousands of Jews f...
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Bulgaria was an ally of Germany for most of World War II. Bulgaria passed a series of anti-Jewish laws in the early 1940s, but they received less support in Bulgaria than did similar laws in other countries in Europe. Toward the end of World War II, Bulgarian anti-Jewish laws were abolished, and there were efforts to restore Jewish confiscated prop...
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During World War II, Nazi Germany occupied the territory comprising the modern-day Czech Republic (previously part of the independent country of Czechoslovakia), creating the Protectorate of Moravia and Bohemia. All Jews in the Protectorate became subject to German jurisdiction and anti-Jewish laws, including German laws on expropriation of Jewish...
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Turkey remained neutral for most of World War II. In the last few months of the war, Turkey symbolically joined the Allied powers. Owing to its neutral status for most of the war, no immovable property from Jews or other targeted groups was confiscated in Turkey during the war. However, during this period, Jews and other minority groups in Turkey w...
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Yugoslavia (which included present-day Macedonia) was invaded by the Axis powers in 1941 and immovable property was confiscated. After the war, Yugoslavia enacted a property restitution law, but it was short-lived. As Yugoslavia fell under Communist rule, widespread nationalization—which this time occurred irrespective of race, religion, or ethnici...
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The independent Republic of Estonia was attacked and formally annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. It was subsequently invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany in 1941 until Soviet troops re-entered the country in 1944. At the end of the war, virtually every member of Estonia’s small prewar Jewish community had been murdered, deported, or had fled the...
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Yugoslavia (which included present-day Slovenia) was occupied by Germany, Italy, and Hungary during World War II, and immovable property was confiscated. Roughly 90 percent of the Jews who lived in Slovenia before World War II were murdered during the war. Postwar Yugoslavia enacted a short-lived property restitution law. As Yugoslavia fell under C...
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Even prior to World War II and the Holocaust, many Jews emigrated to Palestine. In the late nineteenth century, waves of anti-Semitism swept through Europe, reviving the Zionists’ quest to re-establish a Jewish homeland. An Israeli state was eventually declared in 1948. Even though Israel had not been a sovereign state during World War II, and no p...
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During World War II, the independent Republic of Lithuania was attacked and formally annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. It was subsequently invaded by Germany in 1941 until Soviet troops re-entered the country in 1944. Between 1939 and 1943, approximately 90–95 percent of Lithuania’s vibrant prewar Jewish community of 160,000 was murdered. Lithua...
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Argentina was a neutral during World War II. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was confiscated from Jews or other targeted groups in Argentina during the war. As a result, no immovable property restitution laws were required. Argentina endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009 and the Guidelines and Best Practices in 2010.
Book
The Nazis and their cohorts stole mercilessly from the Jews of Europe. In the aftermath of the Holocaust, returning survivors had to navigate unclear and hostile legal paths to recover their stolen property from governments and neighbors who often had been complicit in their persecution and theft. While the return of Nazi-looted art and recent lega...
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Switzerland remained neutral during World War II and was never invaded by Nazi Germany like its neighbors. Switzerland’s narrative as a being haven to Jewish refugees during the war and a bulwark against Nazism was discredited in the the late 1990s by two Swiss studies that investigated how Switzerland benefited from trading with Nazi Germany and o...
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Brazil declared war on Germany and was a member of the Allied powers during World War II. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was confiscated from Jews or other targeted groups in Brazil during the war. As a result, no immovable property restitution laws were required. Brazil endorsed the Terezin Declaration in 2009 and the Guideli...
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The United States entered World War II on the side of the Allied forces in 1941. While no immovable property located in the United States was confiscated during the war, the United States was involved with armistice agreements and the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties, which included clauses requiring the protection, return, and/or compensation of property...
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During World War II, Luxembourg was occupied by Nazi Germany. Laws passed by the occupying administration confiscated property from Jews and other “enemies of the Reich.” Even before the war ended, the Luxembourg government-in-exile in London issued a number of decrees establishing the framework for restitution in Luxembourg. A 1950 law also provid...
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Yugoslavia (which included present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina) was invaded by the Axis powers in 1941 and immovable property was confiscated. After the war, Yugoslavia enacted a property restitution law but it was short-lived. As Yugoslavia fell under Communist rule, widespread nationalization—which this time occurred irrespective of race, religion, or...
Chapter
The Republic of Ireland was neutral during World War II. Ireland was never invaded by Germany, nor were any anti-Jewish laws passed in the country. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was taken from Jews or other targeted groups in Ireland during the war. As a result, no immovable property restitution laws were required. Ireland en...
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Within months of becoming Chancellor in 1933, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party began to implement legal and extralegal measures to dispossess German Jews of their civil rights and their property. During the following 12 years, the regime systematically dispossessed Jews, Roma, and other targeted groups (in Germany and in other territories occupied b...
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Hungary was an ally of Germany for most of World War II. Even before joining the Axis alliance, Hungary had passed a series of race laws erasing the equal treatment Jews had received in the country since the mid-nineteenth century. More than three-quarters of the country’s prewar Jewish population was killed during the war. In the 1947 Treaty of Pe...
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Malta was a British Crown colony during World War II. Prior to and during World War II, Jewish refugees fled from Continental Europe to Malta because it was the only country in Europe that did not require visas for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. No immovable property—private, communal, or heirless—was taken from Jews or other targeted groups in Mal...
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Germany invaded Belarus (then known as Belorussia)—one of the Soviet Socialist Republics—in violation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1941. Between 80 and 90 percent of Jews in Belarus died during the war, one of the highest percentages in Europe. Homes and apartments vacated after their Jewish owners were forcibly driven out and then murdered we...
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Nazi Germany invaded Belgium in 1940 and occupied the country until 1944. More than 26,000 Jews were deported from Belgium during the Holocaust and less than 2,000 of them survived. Owing to unique aspects of Belgian law still in force during the occupation, less than 10 percent of Jewish real estate was sold by the German occupying power. Most pri...
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The modern territory of the Republic of Moldova was formed in August 1940 as the new Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR). In 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union, German-allied Romanian troops organized the deportation of the Moldovan Jews, and the Germans focused on their extermination. Up to 90,000 Jews, as much as one-third of the J...
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Spain is typically described as having been a neutral country during World War II. However, during the war, the Fascist ideology of Spain’s General Francisco Franco was closely aligned to that of the Nazis’ National Socialism. Unlike Hitler’s Germany, however, Franco’s Spain did not enact anti-Jewish policies or engage in the persecution of Jews. M...
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Germany invaded France in 1940. A month later the countries entered into an agreement, by which 80 percent of France was occupied by Nazi Germany. Competing property expropriation laws were enacted in both Occupied and Unoccupied (Vichy) France. More than 20 percent of France’s Jewish population was killed during World War II. Restitution and repar...