Slowdown of Restitution Payments in Germany Responsible for Decrease in Emigration

The slowdown of payment of indemnification claims to Jewish victims of the Nazis by the various provincial German governments in the United States zone is responsible for a decrease in the number of Jews immigrating to Israel from Germany, Dr. Eliahu Liwneh-Liebstein, Israel consul here, declared today in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Pointing out that many Jews are waiting in Germany in the hope of obtaining some part of the 3,000-mark sum to which the General Claims Law entitles them, Dr. Liebatein said that in all provinces, particularly in Bavaria in which most of the Nazi victims are located, the payment of claims is slow or only the relatively small sum of 500 marks is paid. He stated that the Jews are waiting for their money so that they may have a stake when they arrive in Israel.

Twenty-one application forms are currently required by the Munich authorities before they begin processing requests for indemnification. A special commission has recently been formed to study these applications but it is estimated that they will not be able to process more than 20 per day.

Dr. Liebstein laid particular emphasis for the delay in Bavaria on the provincial Restitution Office, headed by Dr. Philip Auerbach. The Israel consul said that Dr. Auerbach had told the DP’s that he will use restitution funds, particularly those available from heirless Jewish property, to obtain German-made prefabricated houses for Israel. Dr. Liebstein stated flatly that Dr. Auerbach had never consulted the Israel Government nor received its approval for such a scheme.

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