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Jews Forced to Live Under Curfew to Receive Restitution

Jews who lived in a town which had a curfew imposed upon the Jewish community during the Second World War will now receive compensation in accordance with Israel's Holocaust Victims' Law.

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Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

This article is courtesy of a cooperation between DW-WORLD.DE and The Jerusalem Post.

On May 8, the date commemorating the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allies -- or VE Day -- a government appeals committee that deals with matters pertaining to the Holocaust Victims' Law and decided to grant Jews who lived under curfew during World War II the same compensation rights as other Holocaust victims.

According to the Holocaust Victim's Law, those who lived under Nazi rule and were "deprived of their freedom" are entitled to receive remuneration from the German government. Three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that Bulgarian Jews who were expelled from their homes would be entitled to compensation, but those who rather lived under military-imposed curfews were deemed ineligible for this benefit.

The committee, after receiving a petition submitted from 109 Bulgarian and Romanian Holocaust victims who were forced to live in restricted conditions but were not expelled from their homes, reversed the previous decision, thereby rendering the victims eligible.

In 1941 in Bulgaria the "National Defense Law" was enacted, containing various provisions which restricted the freedom of movement of Jews.

Under the law, Jews who remained were obligated to change their place of residence, and were concentrated into special quarters in cities and forbidden from leaving their homes. The restrictions lasted for two years.

(Originally printed on jpost.com on May 8, 2008)

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