‘Children of Tehran’ Group Ruled Eligible for State Compensation

YERUSHALAYIM -

An Israeli court ruled on Thursday that some members of the “Children of Tehran” Holocaust survivor group are eligible for state compensation, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Tel Aviv district court decision in favor of 62 members of the group comes only months after the High Court ruled out restitution for other petitioners from the group in a separate suit.

The name “Children of Tehran” was given to a group of over 1,000 Holocaust survivors made up 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 them were brought to then-British Mandatory Palestine.

For various reasons, the group was not recognized as Holocaust survivors for the purposes of receiving special compensation, until 1997.

In January, the Supreme Court ruled that several hundred members who had been awarded 50,000 shekels compensation each were ineligible for restitution. While payment to the survivors was stopped, the plaintiffs were allowed to keep the 25,000 shekels each had already received from the state.

The pivotal legal issue concerns Israel’s obligation toward the survivors: whether a 1952 agreement between Israel and Germany covers the “Children of Tehran.” State attorneys argued against the survivors’ eligibility, on the grounds that they arrived in Israel while the war was still on.

The litigants in the current case were from the “same group of children, survivors who immigrated to Israel nearly together” as those who have already received compensation, the court said. “Some of the plaintiffs did not know about the first lawsuit because it had not received proper advertising, and some of the plaintiffs had no money to pay the fee and did not join the first claim.”

According to the Tel Aviv court ruling, each of the plaintiffs will receive NIS 25,000 compensation, like the first group, mentioned above.

Professor Zeev Schuss, 76, one of the children, was quoted by Ynet on Thursday: “Justice has been done with the ‘Tehran children’… a bold, original decision has been made today.”