Given the depth of the scars inflicted by the Nazis in World War II, it is no surprise that issues of restitution and reparations have refused to go away.1 The only surprise is that they should now, at this late date, be occupying center stage, where they have also become a subject of increasing contention.
The sheer scope of devastation in World War II is impossible to compass. By the time the last shot was fired some five-and-a-half decades ago, a mindnumbing 53 million lives had been extinguished in the concentration camps, in the cities, and on the battlefields of half the world. And no less huge than the toll in human life was the destruction and theft of property; everywhere the Nazis turned, they not only killed but plundered. Continue reading