Baruch Shub’s letter to the editor (“Claims Conference Goals,” Oct. 8) misses the points we were trying to make: All Holocaust survivors want Holocaust education and commemoration to continue. Our members are giving lectures and classes all over the U.S., and in Europe. Holocaust-history instructions are obligatory in many states and countries. Commemorations — with participation by non-Jews — are being held every Yom HaShoah and every Kristallnacht, and on other occasions, all without subsidies by the Claims Conference.
Their contribution for educational and other purposes (not all Holocaust-related) is 18 percent of their allocation budget (not 10 percent as claimed).
It is a huge amount if it were to be applied to the welfare-budget, but it is a very minor amount when compared to the total national and international outlays spent for this purpose from other sources. It would barely be missed.
Shub’s statement that without the $50,000 contribution to the “Requiem” concert, the negotiations with governments and with the U.S. administration would have been impaired and that “issues like reparations will fall off the agenda and the Holocaust deniers will have won a final victory” is the apex of spuriousness. Former Clinton administration official Stuart Eizenstat has announced that he raised more than $1 million for the concert. My suggestion was to give a symbolic token dollar with the explanation that every dollar must henceforth be used to help indigent survivors. Tens of thousands of survivors cannot afford their medicines, food, electricity and rent. The Claims Conference has declared that they have insufficient funds.
Let’s save lives and the dignity of elderly survivors first and let others finance the concerts.
National Association of
Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors Inc.
Secretary, Holocaust Survivors’