Posts Tagged 'morality'

Claims Conference – The Holocaust

The Holocaust Remembrance Day was 2 days ago, on Thursday, May 1st 2008.
My grandmother, Ida Reznik, is a Holocaust survivor, born March 19, 1922. She has Alzheimer’s.

There are about 550,000 Holocaust survivors living around the world.
400,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel.
100,000 (25%) of them live in poverty.
30 Holocaust survivors die each week.

Today I watch ‘Reparations Morality 2‘ (60min, Hebrew), a powerful documentary film that investigates why Holocaust survivors in Israel (as well as in other countries) do not get the financial support THEY ARE ENTITLED TO, from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). A year after the first film, the directors, Guy Meros and Orly Federbush, travel Israel, Berlin, New York, Washington and Moscow, trying to un-cover the greatest mystery of all: Why the compensation money is not transferred to the survivors?

Claims Conference (non-profit organization, based in NYC) has 4 sources of funds:

  • Compensations from German Government
  • Compensations from Swish Banks
  • Insurance Policies
  • Recovered unclaimed German Jewish property

The Claims Conference website is full with information, guides, forms, negotiation, survivors’ pictures and responses (such as their response to the film). I’m sure that for the past 50 years they have done a remarkable work, negotiating the compensations, allocating the funds, improving the survivors’ life and so on, as their mission states:

The mission of the Claims Conference over its 50-year history has always been to secure what we consider a small measure of justice for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. We have pursued this goal since 1951 through a combination of negotiations, disbursing funds to individuals and organizations, and seeking the return of Jewish property lost during the Holocaust.

Even if the film is ‘one-sided sensationalist litany of attacks and criticism… riddled with inaccuracies and distortions… fueled by a small band of disgruntled parties who are motivated by self-interests‘ – why they denied 30,000 claims of Holocaust survivors? why they take 20% commission on funds distributed to survivors? why they don’t disclose the full list of recovered unclaimed properties they have? why each claim is discussed in court, putting the survivors in more agony and pain? why the survivors need to apply for compensation in the first place? Haven’t they been through enough?

The Israeli Government is doing very little to support the people who built this country, and showed us what strength means. We owe them the world, but throw bureaucracy at them.
In 10-20 years there will be no Holocaust survivors left. What are we waiting for?

The Claims Conference adheres to US legal system.

‘What Hitler didn’t finish in 1944, you finished now’ (a survivor in a US court hearing, to a Claim Conference representative).

Reparations Morality 2 – 2008 Documentary film, Hebrew, 60min (streaming)
Reparation Morality – 2006 Documentary film, Hebrew, 60min (streaming)
The Holocaust
The Holocaust Remembrance Day
Yad Vashem – The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority
Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

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