Dutch Reverse Decision to Suspend Reparations to Holocaust Survivors

Law apparently forbids payment to survivors also getting help from second country.

MK Moshe Gafni at a meeting of the Knesset's Finance Committee, August 12, 2014.
Michal Fattal

The Dutch government has reversed its earlier decision and announced it will continue to make monthly reparations payments to all Dutch Holocaust survivors.

Last month it had announced it would stop making such payments to any former citizen of the Netherlands who was also getting payments from the Israeli government, citing Dutch law that forbids the payment of double allowances. The decision sparked outrage among Dutch survivors.

Dutch Ambassador to Israel Gilles Beschoor Plug announced yesterday that after additional thought, his government had decided to continue the payments although Dutch law seemingly forbids them. Some 600 survivors living here would have lost their allowances.

Avraham Roet, left, a Dutch survivor and a member of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel.
Emil Salman

The director of the Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority, Ofra Ross, announced the news during a meeting of the Knesset Finance Committee, which was following up the issue. Earlier, Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni had met with Plug to try to resolve the dispute.

“Allow me to praise the Dutch government and the Dutch ambassador to Israel for making a correct decision on this matter, for recognizing the importance of these payments to the survivors and for not letting bureaucracy interfere with practical and moral considerations,” Gafni said during yesterday’s committee hearing.

Avraham Roet, a Dutch survivor and a member of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, an umbrella body of survivors’ groups, thanked all involved for their quick action that resulted in no payments being delayed.