On September 10, 1952, the state
of Israel and a new Jewish organization, created to represent “world
Jewry in its material claims against Germany,” signed a
post-war reparation and compensation agreement with West Germany.
the world’s Jewish communities, still devastated after
the Holocaust, nor those in the state of Israel, which was still
to survive after only four years of independence, noticed the
dangerous legal precedent created on that day. Twenty-three leaders
Jewish organizations took it upon themselves to represent, in
perpetuity, the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, as
well as the
hundreds of thousands of survivors and their decedents, in their
material claims against Germany.
It is this precedent that came to haunt the Jewish world almost
forty years later when in 1990 “The Claims Conference” and
the World Jewish Congress, using this post-war legal precedent,
started a public campaign “in the name of the victims”,
to restore looted Jewish properties to their rightful owners. These
two organizations, by their own words, have succeeded in amassing
close to twenty billion dollars. In the Name of the Victims tells
the disturbing story of how some of this astronomical sum was raised.
These organizations’ legal acrobatics have left thousands
of survivors bitter and resentful towards the very organizations
that were supposed to act in their name. But even more shocking
is where some of these billions went, and how, despite these astronomical
sums, thousands of holocaust survivors in Israel and in the United
States are ending their lives in utter poverty and humiliation.