The Holocaust: Repirations and PaymentsThe Holocaust was a robbery, however money cannot replace the lives that were destroyed. The World Jewish Congress estimates between 23-32 billion 1945 dollars were taken from jews in occupied Europe. This money was taken through lies, theft and outright barbarity. After the war, Western Allies helped Jews reclaim their property, however many people, who were liberated by the Soviets, did not have this luxury.
When families began to settle, and were in need of funds, they took it upon themselves to sue the establishments who had confiscated their possessions. Many companies and countries readily paid millions of dollars, however the largest payment, came from Germany itself. The World Jewish Congress estimates between 23-32 billion 1945 dollars were taken from Jews in Occupied Europe. (CQ researcher)This money was taken from jewish people through deceit, trickery and outright theft.
In light of these occurrences, many jews put their savings in swiss bank accounts. German officers also did the same with stolen money. After the war, the swiss banks kept this treasure they had amassed over a 12 year period. Other countries, such as Austria, and Poland stole precious possessions from Jewish families, such as rings, and trinkets. Personal items by the thousands were taken and used to make German Products.
Things such as hair and fingernails were cut off and used to stuff pillows or to make cement. After the war, Western Allies helped Jews recalim their property as best as they could, however some jews lied, and stole other peoples precious belongings. Some governments formed formal investigation committies to discover what was whos so to speak. The new nation of Israel, which was taken from the Palistinians by the british, and given to the victims of the Holocaust, sued Germany for 4. 5 Billion dollars. The money is critical for Israel to buy arms in order to stop any forms of rebellion.
Many jews form class action suits against companies such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, both of whom allegedly used jewish slaves to make vehicles. The United States Government creates a Holocaust claims commitee, to oversee and aid in the return of money and property. Many individual companies paid money, however the largestpayment came from Germany itself. Germany agreed to pay 14 billion dollars over a period of 10-14 years to victims of the Holocaust.
The money that the Swiss banks had kept, was being repaid. Several banks together agreed to pay 4. 7 billion dollars in total to Holocaust families. Austria, pays 150 million dollars over a period of 15 years.
However, some do not want anything to do with this money. This is because the money is made of mother’s rings and father’s teeth. (Joast) Indeed the method most of this money was taken was in such a way, that to profit from such a horrible occurrence as this, one would have to lack certain qualities that reside in ones conscious. However the this shows us that the Holocaust victims were human, and not 100% victims as was the old notion. Many individuals were very critical of people who sought comfort and closure through million dollar settlements.
What was taken from the millions of human beings during the Holocaust will and can never be returned, however money, should be the last thing on peoples minds when thinking of this. In fact, 67% of the people currently suing germany and other nations about the Holocaust, were not victims themselves. (http://wjcic. mvb. org/hlcst/current/index/main.
html)A price tag can never be put on a human life, and never should be. Asking for money, simply puts a price tag on one of the most horrifying chapters of mankind. Instead of asking for money, they should ask that Germany educate its young, that Switzerland uses the money it stole, to create a Holocaust memorial, that Poland build Jewish temples, but not fatten ones wallet. Bibliography: