In the aftermath of the $42.5 million fraud at the Claims Conference, the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors has adopted the following resolution calling for the appointment of an Ombudsman to “represent the interest of the survivors”:

“The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants is outraged at the enormous fraud with respect to Article 2 Fund and Hardship Fund payments that has been perpetrated by former employees of the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, and which has resulted in the recent indictment of 17 individuals by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

We appreciate the “extraordinary cooperation” that the Claims Conference, which first discovered the fraud, has given to the federal authorities in their investigation, and reiterate our confidence in the Claims Conference. At the same time, we are mindful of the anxiety on the part of survivors throughout North America and, indeed, the world, who need to be reassured that the institution that is mandated to represent their interests with respect to the material reparations they are owed by Germany will continue to advocate forcefully and single-mindedly on their behalf. Accordingly, the American Gathering calls on the Claims Conference to engage an ombudsman acceptable to the survivor community to advocate on behalf of and represent the interest of the survivors.