Hungary Demands Return of Holocaust Survivor Funds

Government claims US group hasn't accounted for money
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2012 11:28 AM CDT
Hungary Demands Return of Holocaust Survivor Funds
German and Hungarian soldiers round up Jews in Budapest, 1944.   (Bundesarchiv)

The Hungarian government has told an American organization to return money earmarked for impoverished Holocaust survivors. Hungary agreed years ago to provide $21 million to aid survivors of the slaughter that killed more than half a million Hungarian Jews, but it complains that the New York-based Claims Conference organization hasn't accounted for the thus-far distributed funds, reports the Los Angeles Times. The group counters that it has provided plenty of information and accuses the current Hungarian government, which came to power two years ago, of making excuses to delay the release of more funds.

"Since this government commissioner has taken over they have not released one penny and have used all kinds of excuses why they can’t release the money and why they won’t," a Claims Conference spokesman says. He says the Hungarian government demanded a report on where every Hungarian Holocaust survivor was during the war, then demanded the return of the $8 million the group has so far been given, even after Claims Conference agreed to work to assemble the information. The move comes as far-right parties and anti-Semitism are on the rise on Hungary, reports Tablet. But one openly anti-Semitic Hungarian renounced his views recently—after learning that his grandparents were Jews who survived the Holocaust. (More Hungary stories.)

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