ulgarian Holocaust Survivors Still with No Compensation

Politics: 26 May 2006, Friday.

Bureaucratic hurdles stand in the way of dozens of Bulgarian Jews entitled to reparations despite the fact that they were ‘only’ expelled from their homes and not taken to concentration camps, writes Ynetnews, part of Israel’s largest media company Yedioth Group.

At the beginning of October last year an Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Bulgarian Jews who were ordered to resettle in frontier towns during World War II are eligible in principle for compensation by the Israeli government. The precedent-setting ruling was in accordance with the Disabled Victims of Nazi Persecution Law.

“A stockpile of documents, psychiatric evaluations, and a confirmation of 25 percent mental disability, are only some of the hurdles that separate them from compensation, not to mention the time factor relevant to most survivors over the age of 80, “writes Ynetnews.

The article explains that since the passing of the Reparation Law in 1957, the survivors didn’t receive any compensation from the German government, for the reason that they were in fact expelled from their homes in Bulgaria but were not sent to concentration camps.

The court decision did reverse that historic injustice, but this week the survivors received a letter saying they must expose their medical files if they want to receive the compensation (NIS 1050, or USD 234 a month).

The letter specified, they needed to prove that they were indeed persecuted by the Nazis and as a result suffer from 25 percent mental disability.

Some 7,000 Bulgarian Jews live in Israel today.