Audit: Israel’s Holocaust survivors cheated
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Published: 06/22/2008

Holocaust survivors in Israel have received less than two-thirds of the German reparations allotted to them, an audit found.

A report issued Sunday by a commission of inquiry under retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner found that of the Holocaust reparations paid to Israel under a 1952 deal with Germany, only about 62 percent found their way to survivors living in the Jewish state.

On average, each survivor was underpaid by an aggregate $400,000 to $700,000, the Dorner Commission concluded. It urged the state to make compensation available to entitled recipients who are still alive.

The commission was established following revelations lastdan year that many Holocaust survivors in Israel are destitute because of shortfalls in the welfare payouts they receive from the state. At the time, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised swift redress.

“My government has indeed treated this issue will all due seriousness and took upon itself this issue, which had not been dealt with for many years. We tried to provide the best response possible,” he said in a statement after the Dorner Commission’s report was delivered.

“Ahead of the 2009 state budget as well, we will take various steps in order to ensure that the survivors will not suffer privation,” he said. “Beyond the monetary issues, the issues here are the moral ethos that we, as a country, would like to instill in future generations, and our degree of obligation toward the survivors.”