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November 09, 1990 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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74

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 1990

Deadline Is Extended
For Claims Against Nazis

JAY LECHTMAN

Special to The Jewish News

A

united Germany has
extended its deadline
for filing claims for
property seized during the
Nazi regime, according to
international Jewish organ-
izations.
Holocaust survivors or
their heirs now have until
March 31, 1991, to file their
claims. The original date
was Oct. 13, 1990.
Furthermore, claims may
now be filed with the Justice
Ministry in Bonn, the Ger-
man capital. Previously,
claims had to be filed in the
city or county where the
property owner last lived or
where the property was
located.
The United Restitution
Organization, a Jewish
claims group based in
Frankfurt, Germany, said
that claims for filing in Bonn
should be sent to:
Ministry of Justice
Heinemannstrasse 6
5300 Bonn 2
Germany
This should facilitate the
claims process for survivors,
because "there are so many
small towns in Germany
that it becomes almost im-
possible for people" to know
where to send property
claims, said Israel Miller,
president of the Conference
of Jewish Material Claims
Against Germany.
The Conference is an
international claims organ-
ization representing 24 Jew-
ish groups including the
Synagogue Council of
America, B'nai B'rith Inter-
national and the American
Joint Distribution Com-
mittee along with Zionist
and Holocaust survivors
associations.
For property located in
larger cities in what was
East Germany, such as Leip-
zig and Dresden, Dr. Miller
suggests applying directly to
the city administrator.
In another victory for the
Claims Conference, that
organization may now claim
property where heirs no
longer exist.
However, "it will be
years" until any such claims
can be made, if at all, said
Saul Kagan, executive direc-
tor of the Conference. "It is a
long process to trace heirless

Jay Lechtman is a staff
reporter for our sister news-
paper, the Baltimore Jewish
Times.

property and then to reclaim
it from people who will not
willingly give it up."
The extension came as the
result of a treaty which was
adopted by the parliaments
of both Germanies, just
before unification on Oct. 3.
While West Germany has
been paying damages to
Nazi victims since shortly
after World War II, East
Germany has never made
reparations.
For the Claims Con-
ference, this treaty "gives us
an opportunity to raise with
a united Germany the ques-
tion of people who are now
coming out of Eastern
Europe and never had an
opportunity to file," Dr.
Miller said.
Survivors are also eligible
for a one-time hardship
payment of 5,000 deutsche
marks, roughly $2,700.
Some 80,000 such payments
have been made, and ap-
proximately 1,800 new
claims are being filed for
payment in the United
States and Israel, according
to Dr. Miller.
Additionally, some
170,000 survivors have been
receiving pensions from the
German government since
1952.
The Claims Conference
urges German property
owners "to file as early as
possible," Dr. Miller said.
"We have no knowledge yet
about exactly what is going
to come out of it, but we do
know that we are going to be
making a major effort." ❑

A D L Seeks
Latvian Resident

New York — The Anti-
Defamation League is seek-
ing information about Rasele
Habass, a former resident of
Rezekne, Latvia, in response
to a request from the Pro-
secutor's Office in Dortmund,
Germany.
Ms. Habass was arrested in
1941 at age 17 by local
authorities while hiding from
the Nazis in the Jarnopole
Forest in Resna, Latvia. She
was taken to the jail in-
Rezekne along with Falke
Bores, another Jew who was
immediately shot.
Those with knowledge of
Ms. Habass or her current
whereabouts are asked to
communicate with Elliot
Welles, director, Anti-
Defamation League Nazi War
Criminals Task Force, 823
United Nations Plaza, New
York, N.Y. 10017.

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