LONDON (Oct. 12)
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims expressed for the first time last night–at its two-day session here–its concern over the “growing gap” between funds available to the West German Federal and state governments for the payment of individual indemnification claims and the amount actually disbursed.
The board of directors of the Conference, representing 23 national and world Jewish organizations, passed a resolution urging “the German Federal and state governments to take steps wherever necessary to insure the disbursement of the full sums” available for this purpose. Else, the resolution, underlined, “the declared objective of the German Government to accelerate payments cannot be achieved.”
Adoption of the resolution followed presentation of a report, by Dr. Nahum Gold-mann. Conference president, on “German indemnification legislation and its implementation.” The session today considered a report by a committee appointed earlier this year to study the conference’s operations in the past five years and to recommend future allocations.
Under the terms of the reparations agreement with Germany, the conference has responsibility for the disbursement of more than $120, 000, 000. Seventy-five percent of all expenditures in the past went for relief and rehabilitation purposes and 12 percent for cultural activities.
In his report, Dr Goldmann said that the amounts available to different German governmental agencies for indemnification purposes were not being paid out in full. However, he expressed appreciation of the fact that the amount allocated for indemnification had been increased from 1, 900, 000, 000 marks last year to 2, 600, 000, 000 marks this year. Actually, only 560, 000, 000 marks had been paid out this year.
The conference head told the meeting that “we are in closest contact with them to overcome the present obstacles and to clear the way for full implementation of indemnification legislation adopted in Germany. At the same time Dr. Goldmann insisted on the necessity for the “observance of the highest standards of ethics on the part of the claimants and their representatives.”
$50,000,000 DISTRIBUTED BY CLAIMS CONFERENCE IN REPARATIONS MONEY
More than $50, 000, 000 in reparations money received from West Germany has been distributed to needy Jewish victims of Nazism in 34 countries in the past five years by the Claims Conference, according to a report presented today by Dr. Goldmann and by Jacob Blaustein, senior vice president of the Conference.
Opening with a review of the first five years of the Conference’s operations, the report expressed the conviction that “Conference funds have become a major force in the rehabilitation of human life and of Jewish communal and spiritual life which suffered at the hands of the Nazis.”
In addition, the report pointed out that the claims conference “is making a significant contribution in developing wide ranging programs for culture and educational reconstruction on a global basis, by conducting comprehensive programs for capital investment projects.”
The highlights of the study committee’s report and the accomplishments of the past five years are “the provision of welfare services to more than 125, 000 needy Nazi victims per year; creation or expansion, with the aid of capital grants, of 313 community Jewish day schools, 31 synagogues and other religious institutions, 28 children and youth schools, 23 summer camps and 19 elementary schools and kindergartens, yeshivas, hospitals and clinics and homes for the aged.
The conclusions presented by the study committee at today’s session were: The principle governing the allocation of the Conference’s funds should be retained without any change; 2. The basic pattern of the Conference’s allocations is valid; 3. The Jewish communities in the countries that fell under Nazi occupation, and those which are disproportionately burdened by heavy influx of Nazi victims, must remain areas of primary concern of the Conference; 4. The present levels of support for cultural and educational programs represent a commitment commensurate with the basic Conference responsibility.