Holocaust benefits, claims and survivors

by Maskil on 6 Jul 2008

Earlier this year, the Tel Aviv District Court sentenced Yisrael Perry to 12 years’ imprisonment and another five and a half years suspended sentence. He also was fined $6 million.

Perry was found guilty of defrauding dozens of Holocaust survivors of $240 million worth of benefits. He had represented them in filing post-war government insurance claims in Germany.

In the latest scandal, it is claimed that Holocaust survivors in Israel have received less than two-thirds of the German reparations allotted to them.

The Dorner Commission concluded that each survivor was underpaid by an aggregate $400,000 to $700,000.

At the time the original story made the news, I posted the following blog entry on another blog. I think it bears repeating:

I know it’s a little off-topic, but what I’d really like to see is a complete moratorium on all spending on Holocaust education, memorials and museums. Those funds should instead be utilized to provide a decent living to all genuine Holocaust survivors for the rest of their time with us. That pool of survivors and their time on earth are both shrinking inexorably, so there’s little time left to act.

In the longer term, yes, there’s a need for Holocaust education, memorials and museums. And yes, there’s also a universal dimension to the Holocaust. Ultimately, however, it’s our own private tragedy, and we’re going to start encountering a lot more Holocaust fatigue out there. Let’s spend that money where it will do some good.

I’d also like to see all claims of a “class action” nature centralized and managed properly and in the interests of survivors and the Jewish people as a whole. I mean managed in such a way that people like this can’t get their snouts in the trough, with a board of directors of impeccable integrity and acumen, and all the necessary checks and balances.

It’s not a wonder anti-Semites and self-haters now refer to a “Holocaust industry”…

Do we have a chance of getting this right? Who can we trust to faithfully and prudently manage the benefits due (long overdue) to our dwindling band of Holocaust survivors? Who can we trust to ensure that that those who came back from hell can at least live out their days with some dignity and comfort?

Lawyer gets jail time for bilking Holocaust survivors

Audit: Israel’s Holocaust survivors cheated

Lawyer gets jail time for bilking Holocaust survivors

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