Thursday, August 07, 2008

Token "blood money" for Hungarian Holocaust survivors

From, August 07, 2008, by correspondents in Budapest [my emphasis, and comments added - SL]:

THE German government has agreed to pay €12.3 million ($20.8 million) to about 6500 Jewish survivors of the Nazi occupation of Budapest, an international Jewish organisation said today.

"In negotiations with the German government, the Claims Conference has secured payments for certain Jewish survivors of the Nazi occupation of Budapest," the Claims Conference said.
The organisation has been representing Jews in negotiating compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution since 1951.

"In recognition of the incarceration and suffering of Budapest Holocaust survivors, certain Jewish survivors of Nazi-era Budapest - who currently reside in eastern Europe and previously did not receive any payments from certain major compensation programs - will receive a one-time payment of €1900 ($3200) from the Claims Conference Budapest Fund."

In all, payments totalling €12.3 million would be issued to approximately 6500 survivors living in Hungary.

Up until World War II, around 725,000 Jews were living in Hungary. But around 625,000 were deported and murdered by the Nazis in the death camps.

[The equivalent of $150 today's dollars, given in 1945 and invested at 5%pa return (in excess of inflation), would today be $3200. In other words compensation for the deportation or murder of an average of 6 relatives equates to $25 each relative - the eqivalent of returning a parking fine from 1945 - SL].

...The conference said that in order to "streamline the process and distribute the funds as quickly as possible, the Claims Conference has reviewed over 25,000 files to identify eligible survivors".

"Brief and simple waiver forms ", as required by the German government , were being sent to 5790 survivors who the conference believed may be eligible. [So... to get your "parking fine" back you must agree that you are not entitled to any other compensation? - SL] The application deadline for compensation was August 6, 2009.

Mazshisz head Mr Feldmayer welcomed the compensation deal, but said it must be only a first step in negotiations between the Claims Conference and the German government to secure a monthly payment to ghetto survivors.

There are some 80,000 Jews currently living in Hungary, out of a total population of 10 million, meaning the Hungarian Jewish community is the second largest in Europe after France.

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