Claims Conference Report

Professor Yitzhak Kerem emails: “Luke, can you publish this. Since appearance of the story of the $42 million dollar stealing of Claims Conference, no journalist in the world has decency to care about continuing and ongoing scandals of the Claims. Please publish some of the details of the report. After Claims Conference employees were arrested, the Claims decided that most new applications from world would go through Israel (where its office is overly vicious and will knock most out by unreasonable bureaucratic requests) and care (or thievery) from Eastern German properties would still be controlled by NY office.”

Haaretz reports:

Report: Holocaust compensation group withheld over a billion Euros from Jewish survivors

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, set up to restitute Jewish property, did not return all the funds it received from the German government to their Jewish owners or their heirs, a new report has found.

Ralph Falkenburg, of the United States, tried for years to find details of his eligibility to receive compensation for a business and properties is family had in Germany before the Holocaust. In 2008 Falkenburg found that the Claims Conference had received 700,000 euros from Germany for his family’s business and properties.

But all his attempts to receive information from the Claims Conference were in vain and his demand to expose the documents regarding his family’s property were rejected. Falkenburg died in July without receiving a single euro of his family’s fortune.

This is just one case of a number of incidents in which the conference did not act with complete transparency to help claimants apply for compensation, before allocating funds to other purposes, according to a report recently submitted to the Board of Deputies of British Jews by leading barrister Jeffrey Gruder.

Gruder says at least 1.2 billion euros the conference had received from Germany in money and properties was not returned to the owners or their heirs.

Gruder, who was commissioned by the Board of Deputies to examine the conference’s operations, says the conference did not hold the money for the owners or their heirs, but allocated it to other purposes.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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