Holocaust Compensation Row: Germany Refuses to Negotiate with Israel over New Claims
The German government is refusing to negotiate with Israel over new compensation claims for Holocaust survivors. The dispute is causing tension between Israel and the Jewish Claims Conference -- which Germany says is its correct negotiating partner.
The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
But recently Israel, where the majority of the world's Holocaust survivors now live, has found itself with a growing bill for the care of elderly survivors. Many of them emigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union long after the deadline for making claims was past. Israel says the costs for their care far outstrip Germany's past payments.
Israeli Minister of Pensioners' Affairs Rafi Eitan met with the German ambassador to Israel, Harald Kindermann, in December to demand that Germany take a series of steps to address the shortfall.
The quarrel has opened a deep divide between the JCC and the Israeli government. Eitan has accused the JCC of denying Holocaust survivors of millions of euros.
The JCC, in turn, has accused the Israeli government of letting survivors down. In the last decade, JCC official Seev Faktor says, the JCC "is the only organization that has helped deserving survivors in Israel in any meaningful and lasting way."
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