Conference to apprise Polish born Holocaust survivors of new rights

Poland introduced legislation whereby people of Polish birth who could prove that they were victims of Nazi or Soviet oppression, could under certain conditions receive a monthly pension of €100.

August 11, 2015 15:32
1 minute read.
holocaust yad vashem

A Holocaust survivor shows his prisoner number tattooed on his arm, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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To some Holocaust survivors, an additional €100 per month, which is roughly NIS 490, can make an enormous difference in not having to decide whether to buy food or medication.

The Polish government earlier this year introduced legislation whereby people of Polish birth who could prove that they were victims of Nazi or Soviet oppression could under certain conditions receive a monthly pension of €100.

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But the Poles are not making it easy, Colette Avital, the head of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, told The Jerusalem Post this week.

There are two big snags: first, having to provide documented evidence, which is difficult considering that many documents were destroyed, and that people who might be eligible for pensions were small children at the time and unlikely to have records of where they were and what was done to them.

The other snag is that all application forms must be filled out in Polish, and people who survived the Holocaust as children and came to Israel are unlikely to know the language, especially those who came as orphans and did not hear Polish in their places of domicile.

To make the process easier, the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors is hosting an information conference on August 20 at the Kfar Hamaccabiah hotel in Ramat Gan, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to inform Polish-born survivors of the requirements and of their rights. People fluent in Polish and other languages will be on hand to help fill out the necessary forms free of charge.

Those attending will also receive updates on their rights from the Israeli government.

Too many survivors are unaware of their rights and are missing out, said Avital. In an attempt to amend this situation there will be a display of pamphlets informing survivors of all their entitlements under Israeli law.

On August 27, survivors from the Bialystok community and surrounds will commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the revolt in and destruction of the Bialystok Ghetto. The memorial ceremony, which will also pay tribute to the memories of some 200,000 Bialystok Jews who were murdered, will be held in the plaza of the Great Synagogue in Yahud’s Kiryat Bialystok

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