State to pay Bulgarian survivors NIS 200m.

The state will have to pay the estimated 2,000 Bulgarian Holocaust survivors in Israel NIS 200 million up front in retroactive compensation payments for their suffering during World War II, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

Until now, the Bulgarians have not received compensation in accordance with the 1957 Handicapped from Nazi Persecution Law. The authority in charge of implementing the law rejected claims by Bulgarian survivors on the grounds that they did not meet the criteria for being eligible for the compensation.

Some of the survivors appealed against the decision of the authority in a legal procedure that ended on October 9, 2005, when the High Court of Justice ruled that the loss of freedom suffered by the Bulgarian survivors, who had been forcibly uprooted from their homes during the war, did meet the criteria of the 1957 law. This, even though the expulsion took place outside the territories conquered by Nazi Germany and the Jews were not escorted by armed guards to their new residences.