Holocaust welfare fund leaves Hungarian survivors in the lurch

By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent

Clari Karni, 80, of Kibbutz Hama’apil, put a down payment on an expensive new pair of glasses a few days ago. She decided on the hefty purchase – some NIS 2,000 – as well as other medical expenditures, only because she knew she would receive a refund from the Hungarian Holocaust survivors’ fund. The fund transfers $1.75 million annually to Hungarian survivors with a maximum monthly before-tax income of NIS 6,650.

But Karni and other survivors like her will not be getting any more help this year, because the fund’s budget for 2008 has been used up. The fund has informed organizations that deal with survivors’ rights that it will not process applications filed after this coming Monday.