‘The lie is being perpetuated as the truth’
By Adi Schwartz
The executive chairman of the Claims Conference is furious. A documentary film alleges the organization has been denying Holocaust survivors money that is rightfully theirs. In a first interview after the film’s broadcast, Reuven Merhav says he had no choice but to sue for libel

For weeks, Reuven Merhav slept only fitfully. Distraught by the film made by Orly Vilnai-Federbush and Guy Meroz, “Musar hashilumim” (“The Morals of Restitution: The Struggle Continues”), he woke up at three o’clock every night and wandered about his home in a daze. The well-known words from the verdict in the trial of Rudolf Kastner – who in the 1950s was accused of having collaborated with the Nazis in Hungary – resonated in his mind. Judge Benjamin Halevi had declared that Kastner “sold his soul to the devil.”

Merhav wondered whether it would not be better to just wait for the storm to pass. In the end, he decided against restraint. As chairman of the executive committee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany