Jewish Congress Seeks Wider U.S. Action on War Losses Compensation

The American Jewish Congress today asked the United States Senate to broaden the eligibility requirements of a proposed bill which is designed to compensate Americans up to a maximum of $10,000 for losses sustained as a result of German military action during World War II.

Testifying on behalf of the American Jewish Congress at hearings conducted in Washington by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Abraham S. Hyman, executive secretary of the World Jewish Congress, recommended that the definition of eligible claimants for compensation in the Administration bill be revised. The proposed bill, as it is now written, would cover the losses only of those claimants who were American citizens at the time of the loss. Mr. Hyman urged broadening the definition to include the losses of persons who were residents of this country at war’s end and who are now American citizens.

The American Jewish Congress’ recommendation was made because the Senate bill, as it is now written, disqualifies for compensation many persons who fled Europe during the war and settled in this country. Since the citizenship process takes five years, they were not American citizens at the time they sustained their loss of property. The AJC however, maintains that as residents of this country during the war, the majority of these persons were paying taxes, serving in the armed forces and otherwise contributing to the American war effort. Mr. Hyman, who served as General Counsel of the U.S. War Claims Commission from 1950 to 1953, also recommended several other technical revisions.

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