WJRO Slovenia Operations
Slovenia has no legislation for the restitution of communal property, while the Denationalization Act of the Republic of Slovenia, passed by Parliament in 1991, deals with the restitution of confiscated private property.
Over the years, notwithstanding the absence of a communal property restitution law, the Jewish Community of Slovenia has received several properties, including a synagogue in Lendava, through agreements with the government. The Jewish community and WJRO agreed in 2006 to establish a foundation that would receive and manage any restituted Jewish communal property or related compensation.
Slovenia has no legislation for the restitution of heirless property.
In recent years, the government has appointed two commissions – the Committee for the Unresolved Question of Religious Communities (in 2000) and the Sector for Rectification of Committed Injustices (September 2005) – to study the issue of the restitution of communal and heirless property. WJRO and the Jewish community prepared a report in 2011 on formerly Jewish-owned immovable property.
The Denationalization Act requires a claimant to have Slovenian citizenship and only includes property confiscated beginning in 1945. The claims process suffered from lack of trained personnel, inadequate ownership records and a resulting lack of transparency and inconsistent decision-making.
While approximately 40,000 private property restitution claims were filed, Jewish property owners and their heirs generally did not qualify to file claims. Most of the Jewish population was killed or driven out of the country during the Holocaust, and the Slovenian restitution law covered only property confiscated starting in 1945. Moreover, as described above, under “Tito’s Law,” Slovenians who immigrated to Israel between 1948 and 1950 were coerced to renounce their Yugoslav citizenship and to forfeit their property to the State as a prerequisite to leaving the country. The Jewish community has insisted, unsuccessfully thus far, upon the elimination of this law.