U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the passing of Elan Steinberg, vice-president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, and former executive director of the World Jewish Congress. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Elan Steinberg's death is a reminder that so much remains to be done to address the lingering injustices of the Holocaust and to ensure that survivors are treated with the fairness and dignity they deserve. For too long, survivors have been shortchanged and denied the ability to seek justice in our court system. It is time to right that wrong, and pass legislation enabling Holocaust survivors to exercise the same right as all other Americans
"Mr. Steinberg was a dedicated advocate of the Jewish community and for Holocaust survivors' interests who worked tirelessly in negotiating Holocaust-era restitution and compensation agreements. During Mr. Steinberg's tenure as vice president, the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants publically supported legislation that would restore Holocaust survivors' rights to pursue outstanding Holocaust-era insurance claims in Federal court.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Steinberg family during this painful time."
NOTE: H.R. 890, the Tom Lantos Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act, was authored by Ros-Lehtinen with her Florida colleague U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and unanimously passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 7, 2012. This bipartisan measure, which currently has 86 co-sponsors, would allow survivors to avail themselves of state laws passed to allow them to have their day in court and to require European insurance companies conducting business in those states to disclose Nazi-era insurance policy information. The measure also establishes a federal right of action to recover proceeds due under the covered policies.