Thousands of Holocaust victims who have yet to receive compensation from Germany are living in Israel. The sums are not large and will not make them wealthy, but they will help Holocaust survivors end their lives with honor.
Some of them live beneath the poverty line, and they hope that their legal suit against the Prosecutions Committee – an international organization connecting the Holocaust survivors and the German government – can help them out of their sad situation.
In 2002, 1,915 Holocaust survivors sued for the compensation, under the name of the non-profit organization "The Children of the War". The survivors sued for a sum of NIS 19 million (about USD 4). The prosecutors claim the Prosecutions Committee decided on criteria for who is eligible for the compensation which do not appear in the decision of the German government.
The criteria which appear for men is that they must show 80 percent disability or 50 percent lack of physical fitness, which came as a direct result from Nazi persecution. In addition, the Committee ruled that every applicant can submit one request alone.
Survivor: Holocaust has not ended
In other words, a survivor who submitted a request before the age of 65 and was turned down, is not eligible to submit another request after that age, despite the fact that he is eligible for compensation.
There are some 21,000 people living in the world who have been rejected compensation. Out of those, 12,000 are in Israel.
One of the survivors is Semion Varman, chairman of Children of the War.
"We fell victim to a fraud by our Jewish brothers. The Holocaust from our perspective has not ended. All that has been done to us, not the money, but the act, does not give us rest or the ability to forget everything we went through," Varman told Ynet.
The Prosecution Committee said in response: "The criteria to receive compensation were decided by the German government."