Board members, outsiders, survivors to review of reparations organization's management in wake of fraud, but Berman survives as chairman.
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A “thorough analysis of the current management of the Claims Conference” — including a review of its administration and governance — was ordered Wednesday by its board of directors, some of whom criticized the leadership for keeping the board in the dark about a letter in 2001 alerting them to a fraud within the organization.
It was a “modest” sum of money, said Germany’s consul general in New York, but he, staff members and friends attending a concert at his residence last month wanted to do something to help after realizing the hardship Superstorm Sandy had caused Holocaust survivors living in its path.
“We decided to ask participants for donations,” Consul General Busso von Alvensleben said in an e-mail interview. “We all contributed. With this modest token of solidarity we wish to express our sympathies with those affected by Sandy.”
Germany has agreed to provide restitution payments to an additional 80,000 Jews in what Claims Conference officials are describing as a historic breakthrough.
The agreement, which was reached Monday in negotiations between German officials and Claims Conference representatives, is likely to result in additional payments of approximately $300 million. Most of the money will go to Nazi victims in the former Soviet Union who have never before qualified for pensions or payments from German restitution money.