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Angela Merkel Photo: AFP
Angela Merkel Photo: AFP
 
 

Germany delays Holocaust survivor restitution

Israeli officials outraged at Germany's decision to withhold compensation from Jewish WWII laborers claiming issue has been linked to Israel's relationship with neighbors

Eldad Beck
Published: 02.19.13, 14:29 / Israel News

State officials in Jerusalem are enraged by the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office is intentionally delaying urgent deliberations on reparations for Holocaust survivors who were held in Nazi labor camps.

 

According to the sources in Jerusalem, this is a "creation of the criminal and unacceptable connection between handling a humanitarian issue connected to the victims of the German crimes during WWII and the political issue standing between Israel and its neighbors."

 

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The Israeli officials said that a senior official in the chancellor's office has been systematically attempting to undermine the "delicate and sensitive" relationship between Germany and Israel.

 

"Through his actions, this senior official is causing the omission of Holocaust survivors' rights to slightly better lives for the few remaining years they have and is causing the chancellor's doors to be shut in the face of official Israeli representatives interested in advancing the compensational issue of the ghetto laborers and discussions with the Germans on other issues," said the sources.

 

According to the officials, the official has been preventing a meeting between the chancellor and Israel's Ambassador to Germany, Yaakov Hadas, since he assumed his current position.

 

For years, German authorities have dragged their feet in a deliberate attempt to prevent compensation to the ghetto laborers. Then, in December 2012 a discussion was held at the Bundestag which concluded that a political decision on the retroactive rights of these Holocaust survivors, of which 13,000 live in Israel, would be made.

 

In the middle of January, another discussion took place in the office of Germany's deputy welfare minister in the presence of Israel's Ministry for Senior Citizens General Director, Aaron Azulay.

 

Azulay sent a message to the Germans on behalf of the Israeli government that they must act swiftly to advance this issue since those concerned are  elderly.

 

Since then, the arrangement has been stalled as a connection has been made at the chancellor's office between recompense and freezing settlement building. The chancellor's spokesperson office has yet to respond.

 

 

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