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Claims Conference Goals
Mon, 10/04/2010 - 20:00

The article “Holocaust Concert or Care for Survivors?” gave the impression that the two sides to the issue are the Holocaust survivors who only care for welfare while the Claims Conference only cares about concerts, remembrance and education.

As the representative of the largest umbrella organization of Holocaust survivors in the world, I would like to state loudly and clearly that nothing could be further from the truth.

Those who condemn the concert “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin” don’t have the burden of negotiating with governments for funds for survivors. Many of those attending have greatly assisted in securing funds for Holocaust survivors in the past. To present them with this emotional, engaging and powerful multi-media experience will give them the tools necessary to aid in securing greater funds for needy survivors in the future.

However, the much greater debate over the total percentage of funding for Holocaust education and remembrance is extremely complex. Currently, the Claims Conference allocates less than 10 percent of its total funding to Holocaust education and remembrance, far lower than the original quota-rule of 80 percent for welfare and 20 percent for education and documentation. In some countries, like France and Holland, the priority is education and remembrance, perhaps because the governments understand the steady growth of Holocaust-denial.

Those of us who witnessed the horrors of the Holocaust carry the heavy but moral burden to never let people forget. I will never forget the note found in my father’s fist after he was shot dead by the S.S. It read, “Never let people forget what happened.” This was his last will, one that I must fulfill.

The Claims Conference is currently negotiating with Germany for additional funds, all of which go to welfare services for survivors during their final years. The U.S. administration and many of those in attendance at this compelling concert will be enlisted for this purpose. Without strong Holocaust remembrance and education, issues like reparations will fall off the agenda and the Holocaust-deniers will have won a final victory.

Chairman, Organization

of Partisans, Underground Fighters and Ghetto Rebels in Israel

Claims Conference board and

allocations committee member


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With friends like Kagan, Kent, Taylor, Berman Singer, Schneider, Weiner, etc. who needs … The conduct of the Claims Conference is an embarrassment to Holocaust Survivors (HS). In the guise of helping HS and bringing a little “…justice…” the CC through their actions and rhetoric is responsible for bringing ugly, contentious and quarrelsome situations to Holocaust Survivors and the Jewish community. The CC has been extensively criticized for their secrecy, exploitation and subjugation of Holocaust Survivors. In many ways they act like the misguided selfish Jewish leadership of Lodz and Vilna during WWII. The conduct of the CC, especially its leadership, is so abhorrent that Survivor organizations, scholars, authors and film makers have been fighting them for decades. The degrading names used to describe the leadership of the Claims Conference, over the years, is an example of the loathing, disgust and outrage Holocaust Survivors feel toward the CC. Where is their sense of Jewish tradition and teaching? Where is their sense of Yiddishkite? The Claims Conference needs major reform and restructure. The first and immediate task is for adequate Holocaust Survivor representation-which has been denied us for decades. Without adequate Holocaust Survivor representation the CC lacks a mandate and credibility to do our business. With the help of the German authorities they are a hypocritical and dangerous organization that has been forced upon unsuspecting Holocaust Survivors. Try as we might we can’t wash their filth from us. They refuse to separate from us or leave us alone. "Securing greater funds..." sounds like you are going to great lengths to wrongly influence attendees. Not the way to conduct business for Holocaust Survivors. I strongly disapprove. Zay Gazunt zay Gazunt