(JTA) – Romanian Holocaust survivors have received $10 million US in payments since 2015, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WRJO) said.
The funds have been distributed to thousands of recipients from that country, which after decades of resistance and foot-dragging has in recent years taken some major steps toward offering compensation to victims of the genocide perpetrated by its former ally, Nazi Germany, and local collaborators.
During the High Holidays, WJRO distributed extra aid among 142 impoverished recipients, including a 104-year-old who lives alone in Israel, the organization said.
“These funds help Holocaust victims live with the dignity they deserve,” Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations, said in a statement last week.
Over the past three years, payments of over $1,900 were made to 1,393 needy Holocaust survivors from Israel from funding obtained after 2015. Another 1,067 needy survivors received $600 payments.
In 2017, extra funds for Romanian Holocaust survivors living outside Israel and Romania were set aside and $600,000 distributed among those recipients. Another $1.3 million is to be given out to the same group this year.
The program for Romanian Holocaust survivors is administered by the Claims Conference on behalf of the Caritatea Foundation, which was formed as a partnership of the WJRO and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania.
In 2016, legislation making it easier for Holocaust survivors to press restitution claims passed in Romania’s Parliament.
But Romania has not addressed heirless or unclaimed property left by victims of Holocaust persecution. Years after the expiration of a deadline for filing claims for private-owned property stolen during the Holocaust, Romanian authorities have processed less than half of some 250,000 claims.