Letter: Neglected death camp survivors

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The Independent Online
Neglected death camp survivors

Sir: I would like to add my voice to the comments on Holocaust survivors (Letters, 1 and 3 October). Why are we so neglected?

I came here from Bergen-Belsen when I was six. In 1965, 20 years later, the Federal Republic of Germany paid me pounds 486.30 compensation which included, I was told, the loss of my father in Auschwitz. He, along with my sister, grandmother, numerous relatives and 13 million other people, was murdered. An agreement between governments prevented any further claims.

Governments make decisions, Swiss banks hoard gold, works of art are withheld from their rightful owners, the Bank of England holds pounds 40m of so-called Nazi funds, and 50 years go by before there is serious debate and polite suggestions that these funds should be used to benefit Holocaust survivors.

Here is the clear indication that we are still regarded as victims and, worse still, see ourselves as victims grateful to our host country for our existence. That is our inheritance. That is why we remain neglected and will do so until we stop apologising for being alive and demand our rights as people.

MAURICE BLIK

London EC2

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