Experts: German promise to pay Moroccan Shoah survivors won
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Experts: German promise to pay Moroccan Shoah survivors won't help more than a few

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The deal, which would award a one-time compensation payment to Mo- roccan Jews deprived of freedom of movement, is not relevant to Moroc- can Jewry, whose Holocaust suffering did not take that form, say three ex- perts.
By Nir Hasson Haaretz
חוקרים: ההסכם לפיצוי שגרמניה תעניק ליהודי מרוקו - מנוגד לאמת ההיסטורית

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Published 28 October 2011
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Experts: German promise to pay Moroccan Shoah survivors
won't help more than a few
The deal, which would award a one-time compensation payment to Mo-
roccan Jews deprived of freedom of movement, is not relevant to Moroc-
can Jewry, whose Holocaust suffering did not take that form, say three ex-
perts.
By
Nir Hasson
Three experts on Moroccan Jewry claim that an agreement reached this year with the
German government to compensate Moroccan Jews who suffered during the Holo-
caust is worthless, because few will qualify for compensation under its terms.
The deal, which would award a one-time compensation payment to Moroccan Jews
deprived of freedom of movement, is not relevant to Moroccan Jewry, whose Holo-
caust suffering did not take that form, say the three - Dr. Yigal Bin-Nun of the Ecole
Pratique des Hautes Etudes, a leading research institute in Paris; Prof. Michael Lasker
of Bar-Ilan University and Prof. Yaron Tsur of Tel Aviv University.
During the Holocaust, Moroccan Jews were under the rule of France's Vichy govern-
ment, which collaborated with the Nazis. Under the agreement reached in April be-
tween the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the German
government, the Claims Conference was allowed to distribute up to $26 million to an
estimated 7,000 Moroccan Jews who were subjected to regulations that restricted
their freedom of movement.
To make a claim, the victim must have been restricted by the Nazi regime or its allies
by being subject to a curfew, or obliged to register, or had their area of residence lim-
ited. Each eligible claimant would get a one-time payment of 2,556 euro, a bit over
NIS 12,700 at the current exchange rate.
"Restricting the freedom of movement to the domestic area or a specific region was
an effective means to the goal of seizing the Jewish population in Germany and the
regions under German influence," said Julius Berman, the Claims Conference chair-
man.
According to the three researchers, using the term Holocaust to describe the Moroc-
can Jewish experience is itself misleading, because Morocco was actually a place of
refuge for Jews and not one Moroccan national was sent to a concentration camp.
But more pertinently, restricted freedom of movement was not the primary source of
suffering for Moroccan Jewry, the researchers said. They were victimized primarily
by being forced out of their jobs and suffered economic hardships, for which there
are no compensation agreements.
As a result, the three wrote in a letter to Claims Conference director Chen Yurista,
few Moroccan Jews will get anything.
"Why did the German government agree to recognize this criterion, rather than crite-
ria that more accurately reflect reality?" the three wrote. "Why are numerous organi-
zations, encouraged by the Claims Conference, urging Moroccan Jews to file claims
even though it's known that based on this arbitrary criterion very few will qualify for
compensation?"
Added Bin-Nun: "They are selling people illusions, making them hysterical and at the
end they'll be hugely disappointed."
A Claims Conference spokesman insisted the criterion is indeed relevant. "For exam-
ple, under this clarification anyone who was not allowed to live outside the Jewish
quarter in the city in which they lived because of an order issued by the king of Mo-
rocco would be eligible.
"The other types of damage Moroccan Jews suffered during the Holocaust period are
well known to the Claims Conference for many years, but unfortunately the German
government has yet to recognize these reasons for the purpose of individual or group
compensation."
The spokesman noted that since the agreement was announced, thousands of claims
have been filed by Moroccan Jews all over the world, "and from a quick preliminary
examination of them we believe they will meet the criteria of the German govern-
ment and thousands will get the grant."