Tel Aviv District Court ruled Thursday that a group of Holocaust survivors who fled Nazi-occupied Poland as children will each receive NIS 25,000 (about $7,250) compensation from the state, overturning a decision to reject their claim a decade ago.
The "Tehran children", a group of several hundred children were taken from Europe to Israel via Tehran in 1943. They claimed that the State has been deliberately stalling their case for years in hopes they would not survive to collect the funds. The state, on its part, had claimed they were not entitled to compensation because they arrived in Israel while the war was still on.
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Following the verdict on Thursday, the lawyer representing the group said: "Another important ruling in the case of the Holocaust survivors has been passed today. On the grounds of equality and prevention of discrimination, Judge Dvora Pilpel determined today that NIS 25,000 will be paid. There is always a chance that the state will file an appeal, but the country has no moral right to do so."
Professor Zeev Schuss, one of the children, said: "Justice has been done with the 'Tehran children'… a bold, original decision has been made today."
According to Schuss, who at the age of 76 is one of the younger survivors, "the 'Tehran children' were dispersed among various institutions and recruited to the army, and left the education system without an education or profession. They tried to rehabilitate themselves without the help of the state and the reparations agreement."
The original lawsuit was filed in the early 2000s. According to prosecutors, hundreds of Holocaust survivors were smuggled to Israel through Tehran during WWII, wandering through Europe for three and a half years. The children were promised compensation as part of a reparations agreement signed between Germany and Israel in the 1950s, but never received any of the funds.
The survivors claimed that the state had been dragging its feet dealing with their case, so that eventually there would be no one left to claim the funds.