web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Claims Conference Will Not Be Deterred


The Claims Conference (as reported in last week’s Jewish Press) discovered a fraud perpetrated against the organization. In a sophisticated criminal scheme, falsified and phony documents were submitted to programs that make payments to Jewish victims of Nazism. These programs, funded by the German government, have been targeted by persons seeking to extract payments to which they were not entitled.

Upon discovering the fraud, the Claims Conference immediately contacted U.S. federal law enforcement authorities and, with them, is mounting a vigorous and thorough investigation to determine the scope and source of the fraud.

In short, it was the Claims Conference that discovered the fraud. It was the Claims Conference that brought in law enforcement. And it is the Claims Conference that will see this issue through to resolution.

This fraud is a sophisticated operation of falsifying an array of identity and archival documents, perpetrated by people with a detailed knowledge of Claims Conference application procedures. Employees who processed applications were fired in February. Recently, the Claims Conference unearthed what may be fraudulent documents that were the basis for a total of about $7 million in pension payments to 202 individuals. Upon uncovering this fact, the Claims Conference: (I) suspended payments on these pensions; (II) demanded the return of all funds under this program paid to date; and (III) gave each relevant beneficiary the right to appeal.

The Claims Conference is outraged at the actions of criminals who targeted its programs. In addition to continuing the investigation, the Claims Conference is implementing a number of measures to protect against being victimized in the future. We also want to reassure the community that no survivor payments were affected.

In total, the Claims Conference has paid 106,761 pensions and has distributed more than $4.7 billion under these programs. These payments represent decades of ongoing negotiations with the German government, during which the Claims Conference labored mightily to secure and increase funds for ever more Holocaust victims.

Given that these were hard-fought agreements reached with the German government, the Claims Conference is outraged that criminals would exploit programs intended to assist needy Holocaust victims for their own financial gain.

In the meantime, Claims Conference activities continue at full speed. We have allocated over $215 million this year for homecare, medicine, food programs and other social welfare services for Shoah survivors in 46 countries.

But, as we well know, the needs of Holocaust victims are greater than the resources available. The Claims Conference board of directors has approved a four-year plan to allocate the organization’s funds – approximately $543 million – obtained from the recovery of Jewish property in the former East Germany. Since 1995, the proceeds from these recovered properties have provided vital services to survivors such as homecare, food packages and hot meals, medical care, and winter relief. However, the recovery of property is drawing to a close, with future income from this endeavor diminishing rapidly.

The Claims Conference has an urgent mission to explain the plight of Shoah survivors to the world and bring additional resources to help them. As stated above, existing restitution-related funding for survivor needs will be virtually gone within few years. It is very clear that after the funds are gone, many Holocaust victims will still be with us, older and in more need of care.

Knowing that the needs will outlast the available funds, our focus in recent years in annual negotiations with the German government has been to obtain funds for homecare. Despite all of the obstacles, the Claims Conference has been uniquely successful in increasing the funds available to assist survivors. In 2010, the Claims Conference obtained approximately $77 million from the German government for homecare, nearly double the amount negotiated in 2009.

Further, the Claims Conference, together with the World Jewish Restitution Organization, is working assiduously to convince governments in Poland, Lithuania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe to finally fulfill their obligation and restitute Jewish property stolen during the Shoah. Proceeds from heirless properties could provide homecare, warm meals, medical care, and winter relief to elderly Shoah victims.

The Claims Conference, as the largest provider of services to Holocaust survivors worldwide, is painfully aware of the inadequacy of the current funds to meet their needs. Others have joined us in recognizing the needs and the urgency of addressing them. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest Jewish foundations in the world, has just announced a $10 million fund for emergency needs for Shoah survivors in North America.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Claims Conference Will Not Be Deterred”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS executioner holding British aid worker Alan Henning as a hostage.
Muslims Plead with ISIS for Life of UK Aid Worker Alan Henning
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Julius Berman

The Claims Conference (as reported in last week’s Jewish Press) discovered a fraud perpetrated against the organization. In a sophisticated criminal scheme, falsified and phony documents were submitted to programs that make payments to Jewish victims of Nazism. These programs, funded by the German government, have been targeted by persons seeking to extract payments to which they were not entitled.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/claims-conference-will-not-be-deterred/2010/08/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: