Lawmakers press Hungary on compensation


A bipartisan slate of U.S. lawmakers urged Hungary to simplify its Holocaust compensation law.

The letter sent Thursday to the Hungarian foreign minister, spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and signed by another 20 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, commends Hungary for passing a law in 2006 that creates a compensation measure for survivors from Hungary, but notes that applications have been bogged down in bureaucracy.

“Applicants to the program are required to provide birth, death, marriage, and education records, in order to demonstrate their relationship to a Nazi victim,” a statement from Waxman’s office said. “Many such documents were destroyed during the Holocaust or are practically impossible to obtain from towns and villages that either no longer exist or are difficult to locate because Hungary’s borders have shifted.”

The letter notes that 17,000 Americans have applied for compensation under the program.

“We urge the government of Hungary to act swiftly to fulfill the mandate of the compensation program and ease the burden placed on Hungarian Holocaust survivors and relatives of Nazi victims,” the letter says.

Recommended from JTA