July 20, 2024
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Hungary Signs New Holocaust Survivor Restitution Deal

Budapest—Agence France Presse reports that the Hungarian government announced a deal Saturday with the Conference of Material Claims Against Germany on reparations for Hungarian survivors living abroad, ending a year-long row over transparency and a freeze of payments to survivors.

Hungary had signed a five-year agreement with the Claims Conference in 2007 for the distribution of $21 million to Hungarian Holocaust survivors but broke off talks on an extension of the agreement last year. It stopped payments and asked for some funds to be repaid after accusing the Claims Conference of improper accounting, a charge the organization fiercely denied.

The money will now be transferred to the Jewish Heritage of Hungary Public Endowment (MAZSOK), a Hungary-based committee made up of government officials and Jewish representatives, which liaises with the Claims Conference.The parties have also agreed to contract an international auditing firm to monitor the transparency of the disbursements, he added.

The Holocaust claimed the lives of some 600,000 Hungarian Jews, but the local Jewish community, thought to number up to 100,000 in total, remains one of the biggest in Europe.

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