Israeli Restitution Agency Sits on Millions as Poor Survivors Struggle

For Many, Money Is Difficult To Get and Would Come Too Late

A candle being lit in the Hall of Remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.
haaretz
A candle being lit in the Hall of Remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

By Haaretz/Hagai Amit

Published September 15, 2013.

It was hard not to be moved by the plea for financial support made to the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee in April by Dora Roth on behalf of her fellow Holocaust survivors. “What have you done with the money? What? The sight on television of Holocaust survivors who don’t have heat in the winter, who don’t have money for food is to your shame. Permit us to die in dignity.”

The financial distress that Roth expressed was nothing new, but over the past year it has been more in the public eye. Since he entered politics, Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid, who became finance minister following the January election, has made it a point to express his concern for the plight of the country’s Holocaust survivors. Lapid, whose father Yosef “Tommy” Lapid was himself a survivor of the Holocaust, saw to it that a provision in his new party’s platform addressed the subject.

Two months ago, Finance Minister Lapid also signed an order increasing government stipends paid to Holocaust survivors. And, on his Facebook page on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, he expressed the hope that no Holocaust survivors would be spending the holiday alone. Nonetheless, the newly elected finance minister has suffered the wrath of some of Israel’s Holocaust survivors.

Read more at Haaretz.com.



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