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Child survivors of AuschwitzChild survivors of Auschwitz (Still photograph from the film unit of the First Ukrainian Front)

A sad, surprising turn of events is happening with the Jewish Conference on Material Claims Against Germany Inc. It is a relatively unknown situation that, precisely because it has elements of betrayal, deserves publicity and oversight and correction.

Consider the case of Albert L. and his children. Albert owned a 25 percent share in a Berlin company that produced oilcloth and carpets. Since the owners were Jewish, the Nazis seized the company. The claims conference received a damage award of $3,127,593 for the loss of the company. Albert died, leaving two children, Helga and Claude. Helga, who had health problems, filed a claim and was paid $312,800. Her brother Claude, who does not have comparable health problems, is being offered about $129,000. Thus, of the $3,127,593 received, the claims conference is not paying out more than $441,000 in total.

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