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Claims Conference Plans To Respond on Botched Probe Into $57M Holocaust Fraud leads to 31 arrestes.


Polina Breyter Ordered To Pay $500K Restitution

Polina Breyter to serve 18 months for her role in a $60 million scam against the German government

Polina Breyter, an employee of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, also was ordered by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa in Manhattan to make restitution of nearly half a million dollars.


Breyter, 69, of Brooklyn, New York, processed false applications and recruited ineligible applicants for reparation programs in exchange for payments, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. She pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Breyter “played a central role” in the scheme against the organization that lasted more than a decade, Bharara said.
The Claims Conference administers programs sponsored by the German government to victims of Nazi atrocities.
Thirty-one people have been charged in the scheme, including 18 who have pleaded guilty, the statement said.
At least $12 million went through 3,839 apparently fraudulent applications submitted for people who were not eligible for a “Hardship Fund,” including many born after World War II, according to U.S. Attorney Bharara. The fund makes a one-time payment of $3,500 to those who evacuated their homes and were forced to become refugees.Read more


Prosecutors Work To Keep Lid on $57M Corruption Case

Federal prosecutors are trying to prevent a jury from hearing evidence that a multimillion-dollar fraud at a non-profit which processes Holocaust claims is even more widespread than the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office have so far revealed.
The prosecutors, from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, are also trying to prevent defense lawyers from arguing that the German government and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany were negligent and therefore partially to blame for the alleged $57 million fraud that will be the subject of the trial.
A fraudster’s guilt “simply does not depend on whether a victim was diligent or not,” prosecutors argued in court papers filed in U.S. District Court on March 22.
Judge Thomas P. Griesa
Judge Thomas P. Griesa, of U.S. District Court, has deferred ruling on both of the prosecutors’ requests unless and until such claims arise during the trial, which began with jury selection on April 8 and is expected to last for four weeks.
The Claims Conference distributes millions of dollars from the German government to Holocaust survivors around the world. The trial will focus on alleged fraud perpetrated against two Claims Conference controlled funds.  Read more

Julius Berman Appoints Task Force After Forward Expose

ETERNAL PARASITE — Jewish Claims Conference chairman Julius Berman poses among concrete “coffins” at the Holocaust® theme park in central Berlin. His job: finding ever-new ways to shake down the Germans and others six decades after the end of World War II.
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Amid calls that the Claims Conference bungled a warning in 2001 about fraud within the organization, conference leaders appointed a committee to “formulate an appropriate course of action.”
The move, announced by board chairman Julius Berman in an email to board members on Sunday, followed an announcement by the World Jewish Congress that it was setting up its own task force to look into allegations of a cover-up by the Claims Conference.
The allegations concern the Forward’s revelation that an anonymous letter sent to the Claims Conference’s Frankfurt office in 2001 that identified five cases in which restitution was approved for ineligible claimants.
The letter reached the organization’s then-director in Germany, Karl Brozik, who queried Semen Domnitser, the official in New York who approved the cases and who was found guilty two weeks ago of spearheading the $57 million fraud scheme that run unimpeded at the Claims Conference from 1993 to 2009. In his 2001 response to Brozik, Domnitser acknowledged that the cases had been wrongfully approved but led officials to believe that any errors were inadvertent. The fraud scheme continued to run for nearly a decade more.
The Forward later revealed that current Claims Conference officials sought to shift the blame to Brozik, who has since died.
Among those who were CC’d on Domnitser’s response to Brozik was the former chief of the conference, Saul Kagan, it’s then-chief, Gideon Taylor, and its current chief, Greg Schneider, whose formal title is executive vice president.                    clip
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The $57 million fraud scheme discovered in 2009 involved falsifying applications to the Hardship Fund, an account established by the German government to provide one-time payments of approximately $3,360 to those who fled the Nazis as they moved east through Germany, and the Article 2 Fund, through which the German government gives pension payments of approximately $411 per month to needy Nazi victims who spent significant time in a concentration camp, in a Jewish ghetto in hiding or living under a false identity to avoid the Nazis.
In all, 31 people were arrested in connection with the scheme. Twenty-eight pleaded guilty and the three who went to trial were found guilty this month in federal court in Manhattan.
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Comments

Anonymous said…














The shenanigans going on with the Holocaust Claims Conference and the daily reports in various newspapers is reprehensible. If I were not a child of Holocaust survivors and Jewish I would truly develop anti Semitic feelings and be jealous with hatred of the Jewish people. Why? Jews have been hated throughout history because non Jews believe we control the financial world and find every possible method to steal money from others.

. I am sixty five years old and was born in a DP camp.. My parents, survivors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald died when I was relatively young. Except for a cousin, their entire families perished in the Holocaust and all their property including land and businesses was taken from them. Any elderly Holocaust survivor who is in need of food, medicine or financial assistance which Germany just made available should receive the additional funding through the Holocaust Claims Conference.

Due to the mishandling and theft involved with the Holocaust Claims Conference the world is regarding the entire Jewish population as thieves. Is this the legacy we want after many of us lost most of our families to the Nazis?

While I realize Holocaust survivors will say that the money given by Germany belongs to them, I can suggest other venues where this money would help the children, grandchildren and future generations of those who suffered in the Holocaust. There certainly are many Holocaust survivors who financially did well after the war. I am sure they would also like to see funding from the Holocaust Claims conference used for the Jewish education of their children and future generations. How many Rabbinical Theological schools offer courses in Holocaust history or education? This is the way to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and those who died. Day schools are in desperate need of financial assistance and synagogues are having financial problems. Many young Jewish families, especially Religious families are struggling to keep kosher, send their children to Yeshivas, support synagogues and purchase homes in religious neighborhoods.

Are we going to allow the same leadership of the Holocaust Claims Conference to misappropriate and mismanage funds to the point where over fifty million dollars was stolen? It is time for new leadership. Unless others join me in speaking out, ten years from now we will be reading about more theft and misuse of funds while most of the Holocaust will have died.

Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
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Nice Peter's Youtube ... Please send to you friend and family to view ... Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg shares his response to the statement that was made at an ...
Anonymous said…























by RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG IS IT TRUE THAT the Claims Conference SEEMS to be paying an alleged Nazi sympathizer reparations.







Two years ago, I read an article about Alex Kurzem in a Melbourne newspaper. Having watched the "60 minutes" segment in horror and disbelief, I've followed this story and the Jewish Claims Conference's involvement.








As a Rabbi, I am ashamed by the Conference's lack of scrutiny in its determination of Kurzem's eligibility for reparations - based purely on a tall tale, which now appears even to have included a fraudulent document! Surely, the Conference has a fiduciary responsibility and owes those who truly were persecuted by the Nazis, to be thorough and discriminating in its validation of veracity. It did not fulfill that responsibility.




Please explain to me, how it is you have been aware of the doubts and inaccuracies of Mr. Kurzem's story since 2009, yet have done nothing about rescinding his reparations?




How does the Claims Conference accept, tolerate, and apparently condone, that in 1972, Kurzem provided an affidavit endorsing the good character of Nazi SS Colonel Karlis Lobe?




Please help me understand the inconsistency in the Haaretz article appearing last year, where Greg Schneider was quoted as saying no fraud was found in Kurzem's application.Yet in the same article, Kurzem claims he never said he "was Ilya Galperin" , the person he claimed to be when filling out his application for reparations.




How does the Conference define persecution? In a 2008 Penthouse article Kurzem is quoted as saying, the Nazis were "my family", “I felt safe; I wasn’t hungry and I was looked after". Please tell me, Rabbi Berman, that cannot possibly qualify as persecution by the Conference's criteria, can it?




A multi-million dollar fraud was committed on your watch already. Isn't that enough embarrassment to the Jewish community? I don't need to remind you of the higher standard to which we, as Jews are always held, and that the Conference cannot afford its integrity to be doubted or compromised.




Six million are owed so much more, Rabbi Berman! Isn't it time the Conference came clean on Kurzem?





IS IT TRUE THAT the Claims Conference SEEMS to be paying an alleged Nazi sympathizer reparations.
The Testimonies Director at the Centre, Mr Phillip Maisel, who recorded Kurzem’s story formed the impression that his interviewee was not being entirely truthful: “There was something strange about his story, something didn’t add up.” Researcher Colleen Fitzpatrick, concerned with preserving an accurate history of the Jewish Holocaust, has written: "Mr. Kurzem not only has and will continue to experience substantial financial gain and recognition from his books and his movie, he also lectures internationally to school children, thereby feeding the next generation with what may be distortions of the truth."
Anonymous said…


My major suggestion which will get Rabbis, the Jewish community, Second Generation and Holocaust survivors involved is: those Holocaust survivors in need of food, medication, etc will be first priority. There are obviously some Holocaust survivors who are comfortable. The added funds from the Claims would be beneficial to their children and grandchildren for education, day schools , yeshivas, college tuition, programs on college campuses and Holocaust teaching programs on the university level with scholarships for these families.. This might awaken those who are uninterested because at this point they see no personal benefit. I don't know the legalities of this but I do know that children, grand children and great grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, especially if they are religious , are in need of these funds. There should be a way to include those families where the Holocaust survivors have perished, but their children and grandchildren could benefit greatly from the funds. These funds could also be used for other purposes for these 2G, 3G, and 4G families. Unfortunately the courts decided that survivors and their children and grandchildren should not have the same rights as every other American to sue insurers who cheat them out of their policy proceeds. That is the decision that an attorney has been trying to overturn via Federal legislation over the past 6 years, unsuccessfully of course. We should all fight to undo this injustice.

Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg
Anonymous said…


My major suggestion which will get Rabbis, the Jewish community, Second Generation and Holocaust survivors involved is: those Holocaust survivors in need of food, medication, etc will be first priority. There are obviously some Holocaust survivors who are comfortable. The added funds from the Claims would be beneficial to their children and grandchildren for education, day schools , yeshivas, college tuition, programs on college campuses and Holocaust teaching programs on the university level with scholarships for these families.. This might awaken those who are uninterested because at this point they see no personal benefit. I don't know the legalities of this but I do know that children, grand children and great grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, especially if they are religious , are in need of these funds. There should be a way to include those families where the Holocaust survivors have perished, but their children and grandchildren could benefit greatly from the funds. These funds could also be used for other purposes for these 2G, 3G, and 4G families. Unfortunately the courts decided that survivors and their children and grandchildren should not have the same rights as every other American to sue insurers who cheat them out of their policy proceeds. That is the decision that an attorney has been trying to overturn via Federal legislation over the past 6 years, unsuccessfully of course. We should all fight to undo this injustice.

Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

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