“I WAS THERE, AT THE BEGINNING, you see,” says Saul Kagan, pronouncing every word deliberately in a raspy, thick Eastern European accent.As chief of Financial Intelligence of the US Military Government in Germany, Kagan, now 88, was “there,” in the American sector of Berlin after the end of World War II, and was one of the first to deal with issues of restitution and compensation for Jewish victims, first through the initiatives of the American occupation, then as the first executive director of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (“Claims Conference”), established in 1951, until his retirement in 1998. He continues to serve as an adviser to the Claims Conference to this day.Dignified and elegant, Kagan speaks in full, highly articulated paragraphs. When he digresses, it is quickly clear that it is to provide context and background to the point he wants to make. Engagingly, he maintains full control of the conversation. And it is about the Claims Conference, and not about himself, that he wants to talk in an interview with The Jerusalem Report.