‘Children of Tehran’ Survivors Denied Compensation by High Court

YERUSHALAYIM -

Reversing a 2012 decision of the Tel Aviv District Court, the High Court on Monday ruled that there will be no further Holocaust-related compensation to the “Children of Tehran” Holocaust Survivor group, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The court decision puts a stop to payments of NIS 50,000 per person for 219 now-elderly survivors.

However, following a November 2013 agreement, those who already started receiving funds from the 2012 decision will not be required to return the money.

The name Children of Tehran was given to a group of over 1,000 Holocaust survivors comprised of Jews who left Poland for Russia in 1939 prior to the Nazi invasion, as well as children of those families who were placed in Christian Polish orphanages.

In 1943, most of the children were brought to then British Mandate Palestine.

For various reasons, the Children of Tehran as a group were not recognized until 1997 as Holocaust survivors for the purpose of receiving special compensation.

The central legal issue was whether a 1952 agreement between Israel and Germany created a collective right to compensation for Holocaust survivors living in Israel or an individual right to compensation for each victim.

Some funds were given to individual Holocaust survivors as a class to help them build lives, and, through helping them, help build the state. Other funds were invested in state infrastructure and were not given to individuals at all.

An expert testifying on behalf of the Children of Tehran argued that whatever the strict terms of the agreement with Germany in 1952, Israel’s current economic conditions allow for a more comprehensive compensation for survivors.

Justices sitting in the case have expressed sympathy for the survivors, saying that they “should not need to knock on the door of the courts” to obtain state support to live out their lives in dignity.

Nevertheless, the High Court’s ruling has closed that door forever, it seems.