Holocaust survivors from former USSR denied reparations

By Anshel Pfeffer

Some 11,000 Holocaust survivors who moved to Israel from the former Soviet Union are not receiving reparations from Germany because the Claims Conference, an international body that grants compensation to survivors, did not translate the payment request regulations into Russian, MK Michael Nudelman (Kadima) charged at a Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee meeting yesterday.

Nudelman, the committee chairman, said that many Russian-speaking survivors were disqualified from receiving compensation because they filed their requests before they reached the designated age, but were unaware of the problem because they did not understand the regulations. Advertisement

Reuven Merhav, who heads the Claims Conference’s executive committee, acknowledged that it was a mistake not to have translated the regulations, but a conference representative said all the explanatory material has been available in Russian for more than a decade. Merhav also told the Knesset committee that the Claims Conference does not have the funds available to pay reparations to 11,000 additional Holocaust survivors