It’s the principle (and interest) of the thing

Germany adds $250m. in survivors’ pensions

After months of negotiations, the German government has agreed to add $250 million to its pension program for Holocaust survivors over the next decade, the Claims Conference announced Sunday.

The change, which is expected to benefit around 6,000 elderly Holocaust survivors around the world — nearly one-third of them living in Israel — followed months of negotiations with the German Finance Ministry, the Conference said.

The “Article 2 Fund” pensions will no longer be limited to survivors whose annual income is less than $16,000.

“This was, first and foremost, an issue of principle,” said Gideon Taylor, Claims Conference executive vice president. “Since its establishment, the Claims Conference has argued that Holocaust compensation payments are symbolic and should not be based on need.”

The agreement on the changes, which go in effect on October 1, stipulates that old age pensions — including governmental pensions and social security payments — will not be counted toward calculation of the income limit, granting benefits to thousands of survivors who were previously ineligible for the stipend, the Conference said.

Germany determines eligibility for the pensions based on a survivor’s persecution history, including incarceration in certain camps or ghettos, and time spent in hiding or living under false identity.


Article 2 Fund stipends have paid more than $2 billion to more than 73,000 Holocaust survivors since they were established in 1992 through negotiations with the German government, with monthly payments averaging approximately $320, the Claims Conference said.

Source: Etgar Lefkovits, THE JERUSALEM POST
Sep. 2, 2007 &pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Where do you think you are, Switzerland?

Bank Leumi won’t pay Holocaust victims’ heirs

Bank Leumi, which holds most of the accounts of Jews who perished in the Holocaust, does not intend to pay the money it owes the survivors and victims’ heirs at this stage. The bank made this clear despite the publication of the parliamentary inquiry commission on this matter last week.

According to the commission’s report, the bank owes the survivors and victims’ heirs some NIS 35 million, which, together with the index-linkage and interest the commission set reach NIS 307 million.



By Yair Sheleg
Last update — 01:29 23/01/2005

Ethnic cleansing, Israel style

Gov’t decision strips Palestinians of their East J’lem property

The Sharon government implemented the Absentee Property Law in East Jerusalem last July, contrary to Israeli government policy, since Israeli law was extended to East Jerusalem after the Six Day War.

The law means that thousands of Palestinians who live in the West Bank will lose ownership of their property in East Jerusalem.

Government officials estimate the assets total thousands of dunam, while other estimates say they could add up to half of all East Jerusalem property.



Meron Rappaport, Haaretz Correspondent
Last update — 15:01 20/01/2005

Money is a big factor

Stop ‘teaching’ the Holocaust


Type out the word “Holocaust” on Google and you’ll get about seven million hits. So don’t tell me we’ve failed to raise the Holocaust in the consciousness of mankind.

What we have failed to do is correctly assess the value of consciousness-raising.

The problem runs deeper. Sixty years after the Shoah, the Berlin Jewish community is still trying to get more money out of the German government. Money is a big factor in pedestrianizing the Shoah.


But the memorialization of Hitler’s victims has been sullied by the money it takes to keep Shoah-business in business.

Beyond making sure that the survivors receive their compensation checks, isn’t it time we said enough is enough?

The issue isn’t just money. When will we finally stop manipulating the Shoah for partisan purposes?

When MK Danny Naveh opposes a postage stamp marking Israel-Germany friendship because it doesn’t reference the Shoah, I don’t see his stance as honoring the memory of the martyrs or showing sensitivity to the survivors, but as demagoguery.

Another stamp bearing Shoah imagery isn’t what Israel needs.


Elliot Jager
January 14, 2005
This article was published originally in The Jerusalem Post.
© 2001-2005 Koret Communications Ltd. All rights reserved.

At least he isn’t a Nazi

NJ accuses Holocaust lawyer of misusing money from two clients

NEWARK, N.J. — A lawyer who helped win billions of dollars for thousands of Holocaust victims has been accused by an attorney ethics panel of misusing money from two of those clients.

Edward Fagan, who gained worldwide attention for his role in litigation against Swiss banks and German corporations, could face sanctions up to disbarment if the charges are upheld.

“He stabbed me right in the back,” said Gizella Weisshaus, 75, who survived the Auschwitz death camp. “I supported him. He used me. He used my money.”

Efforts to reach Fagan for comment were unsuccessful. Several newspapers reported they could not contact him by phone or at his home on Monday. Fagan on Tuesday was no longer reachable at numbers he has used in the past. He has until February to respond to the charges brought by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics.

The ethics office, part of the state Supreme Court, charged last month that Fagan misused $400,000 from Estelle Sapir and Weisshaus, of Brooklyn, N.Y., the initial plaintiff in the 1996 Swiss bank case. It became a class-action case and was settled in 1998 for $1.25 billion.

Fagan later was among lawyers who won billions from German corporations. He has since sued seeking money for suffering under South African apartheid and American slavery.

The attorney ethics office accused Fagan of draining Weisshaus’ trust account, then seeking to replace the money with funds from the settlement he had won for Sapir. The complaint also charged that he wrote checks to cash on Sapir’s account and transferred the money to business accounts.


Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press–holocaustlawyer0111jan11,0,7667993.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey

Clearly, more reparations must be paid

Holocaust fund investigated for ‘unusual’ money transfers

The World Jewish Congress, which has wrung billions of dollars in Holocaust restitution from European governments and companies, is being investigated by the authorities in New York following a series of unusual money transfers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The influential international group […] has attracted the attention of Elliot Spitzer, the New York state attorney general, who is making informal inquiries into the transfers ordered by Rabbi Israel Singer, the president of the WJC since 1985. It is possible his office could order a full-scale inquiry.


The investigation by Mr Spitzer’s office is reportedly focussing on payments ordered by Rabbi Singer between October 2002 to February last year. In that five-month period he ordered the transfer of $1.2m (£630,000) of the WJC’s funds to a numbered bank account in a bank in Geneva. The staff in its Geneva office said they were not aware of such an account.



By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
01 January 2005
© 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd