JERUSALEM (Sep. 20)
As many as 100, 000 Israelis will benefit from pensions and personal restitution as a result of the recent amendment of the West German Indemnification Law, Dr. Joseph Weiss, director of the Office for Personal Restitution Abroad of the Foreign Ministry, told a press conference here. Dr. Weiss estimated that at least $300, 000, 000 would be brought into Israel as a result of these provisions of the German law.
The major change as far as Israelis are concerned is one which provides that all losses of capital over 20 percent as a result of Nazi action will be made good. Previously, restitution was only paid to victims who had lost at least 80 percent of their capital. This move will make 60, 000 more Israelis eligible for payments.
It was pointed out that Jews who suffered substantial property losses when they transferred their capital through Haavara, the official Jewish body set up to transfer as much property as possible of Jews leaving Germany for Palestine, would be able to reclaim it. The records of Haavara have been kept intact here.
Dr. Yaacov Arnon, director general of the Finance Ministry, stressed the importance of personal restitution to the Israeli economy. He noted that total income from this source had passed $42, 000, 000 and was increasing monthly. This year alone, this source of foreign currency is expected to reach $24, 000, 000, he said.
Dr. Weiss told newsmen that the new German law will also aid Israelis who were children or students in Germany during the 30’s and lost one or more year’s study as a result of Nazi action and their subsequent migration. They are expected to receive a lump sum equal to $1,200. Emigration expenses will probably also be repaid as restitution.
The Office for Personal Restitution will not handle individual claims, Dr. Weiss said, but overall details, such as simplification of claims procedure. He revealed that the Israel Government was prepared to guarantee loans made on account of a final settlement of restitution claims. It will find means of guaranteeing investment of restitution funds in long-term projects, if recipients wish it. The Office will help recipients purchase foreign currency commodities.