Proposed Holocaust payments called low

JERUSALEM, Sept. 3 (UPI) — Germany’s current offer to compensate Jews forced into labor camps during World War II falls far short the survivors’ expectations, it was reported Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected to send Deputy Finance Minister Karl Diller to Israel this week to resolve the lingering compensation issue, Der Spiegel reported. But Germany is offering only about $100 million, far below the $1.36 billion or more in pensions the tens of thousands of survivors want.

Merkel called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to discuss the settlement offer, but he described it internally as insufficient, the German magazine said.

“They must have forgotten a zero,” one of his advisers said.

Olmert is facing pressure concerning Israel’s treatment of many Holocaust survivors and the German reparations issue puts him on the spot. “Olmert absolutely cannot agree to this deal,” said David Greenstein, chairman of the Holocaust Survivor Association in Israel.