Deborah Lipstadt Slams Claims Conference Leaders Over Handling of Fraud Probe

Holocaust Historian Predicts No One Will Be Held Accountable

No Heads Will Roll: Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt slammed leaders of the Claims Conference, but predicted no one will be held accountable for dropping the ball on a $57 million fraud case.
getty images
No Heads Will Roll: Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt slammed leaders of the Claims Conference, but predicted no one will be held accountable for dropping the ball on a $57 million fraud case.

By Paul Berger

Published June 27, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt has lashed out at the leaders of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany over their handling of a $57 million fraud case.

“The Claims Conference conducted a self-audit, recovered a miniscule bit of the money, and declared victory,” she wrote dismissively on a new Jewish Facebook group that launched June 26.

Lipstadt suggested that senior Claims Conference officials ought to lose their posts because of the fraud and their botched investigation into the crime — but predicted that no heads will roll.

“No one will resign. No one will admit that they screwed up… big time,” Lipstadt wrote.

Lipstadt noted in the Facebook post that she is a “great fan” of the Claims Conference for its support of survivors and historians.

She said the Claims Conference funded the translation of portions of her website, Holocaust Denial on Trial, into Arabic, Farsi, Russian, and Turkish.

“I remain tremendously grateful to The Claims Conference for this and other important educational and humanitarian work it has done,” Lipstadt said.

Nevertheless, she added that she was “devastated” by recent reports in the Forward and other news outlets that Claims Conference officials were warned about the fraud in 2001 but did not discover its existence until 2009.

“To paraphrase a famous line uttered at a Senate hearing many decades ago, have they lost all sense of decency, if not just shame?” Lipstadt said.

Lipstadt’s decision to go public with her stand on the issue follows earlier calls on Claims Conference leaders to explain themselves more fully by World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder and by Natan Sharansky, executive chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.