Panel: Germany gave Israel NIS 61.5 billion, Holocaust survivors got about half

The government has paid Israeli Holocaust survivors no more than a third of the compensation funds transferred as part of the reparation agreement with Germany, a report published on Sunday by the state commission of inquiry into the government’s treatment of Holocaust survivors.

The panel, headed by former Supreme Court judge Dalia Dorner, stated that the reparation money Germany has paid Israel adds up to NIS 61.5 billion according to current rates, whereas a mere NIS 38 billion have been paid to the survivors themselves to date.

The 1952 Luxembourg Agreement stipulated that Germany would give Israel $833 million in money and merchandise, and Israel would look after the survivors, who would not be permitted to sue Germany directly.

The panel claims that Israel has discriminated against Holocaust survivors, who were entitled to compensations from Germany as well as other countries, and has paid each NIS 1.3-2.2 million less than it should have.

The committee also said that the state defied a Supreme Court ruling from 1996, according to which Holocaust survivors’ stipends should be increased to match the sum paid by Germany.

The Dorner Committee report says the government should pay survivors NIS 250 million with immediate effect, so that 43,000 survivors will be entitled to at least 75% of the German reparation funds.

Also, the panel strongly criticized the Finance Ministry’s bureau for the rehabilitation of the handicapped, which caters also to Holocaust survivors, for obstructing their treatment and allocating the stipends in a “random and arbitrary” manner.