A Holocaust survivor wears a yellow star during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Deputy Finance Minister Itzik Cohen (Shas) promised on Tuesday that money owed to Holocaust survivors by Hashava – The Company for the Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets, would shortly be transferred to some 11,000 survivors who have not received their quarterly stipend for almost a year.
“We will transfer the money immediately. We will not wait,” Cohen said on Army Radio. “They [Holocaust survivors] will not only receive the money for Passover but everything that they are owed,” he added.
Before the Holocaust, many European Jews purchased assets and invested in Mandate Palestine with the intention of making aliya. Many such investors were murdered before they could obtain immigration certificates.
In 2006, the Knesset enacted the Assets of Holocaust Victims Law, which established Hashava to locate the assets of Holocaust victims and turn them over to the property owners’ heirs. Assets whose owners cannot be traced are utilized to aid poor Holocaust survivors.
The stipend paid by the company to survivors from is NIS 2,700 every quarter. But the company says is experiencing cash-flow problems, and the money is tied up in the Jewish Colonial Trust.
The JCT was the parent company of the Anglo-Palestine Bank, founded in 1899 as the financial instrument of the World Zionist Organization, and in which many Jews in Europe, who would die in the Holocaust, invested.
Hashava and JCT are currently involved in a legal dispute, with Hashava claiming that the JCT has not being paying the dividends to Hashava as it is required to.
Cohen said that the ministry would transfer the entire amount of money owed to the Holocaust survivors who have until now received the stipend, and would then demand the money from Hashava and JCT in return.
“We will not let Holocaust survivors be victims of the dispute between these two organizations,” said Cohen.