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The Battle for Restitution in America's CourtsBelated Justice for the Victims of the Holocaust—Or Something Else?

jan peczkis|Monday, May 1, 2017

The author, Michael J. Bazyler, is a Professor of Law, and an attorney who specializes in Holocaust-related litigation. He was born to Holocaust survivors, and grew up in postwar Lodz, Poland. (p. xiii).


Bazyler estimates that the Nazis stole Jewish assets worth between a total of 230 and 320 billion dollars (in 2003 dollars) (p. xi). [So much for the myth that the Holocaust was a uniquely-irrational genocide insofar as it brought no tangible benefits to the perpetrator. It most certainly did.]

Approximately 8-10 (even 12) million people were slaves (forced laborers) for Nazi Germany. (p. 59). Of course, most of them were not Jews.

Between 1933 and 1945, the Germans stole approximately 600,000 pieces of art, not including rare books, stamps, coins, furniture, etc. The looted art alone had a net worth of 2.5 billion dollars (in 1945) and 20.5 billion in 2003. (p. 202).


Although Bazyler pooh-poohs Norman Finkelstein’s claim that Holocaust survivors are being manufactured for Holocaust Industry purposes, he tacitly acknowledges the validity of Finkelstein’s argument: The very definition of a “Holocaust survivor” is ambiguous. (pp. 274-275).

Since 1952, Germany has paid the Jews a total of 60 billion dollars to some Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. (p. 61). But the Luxembourg Agreement also included considerable monies, as for Israel’s infrastructure, which did not go to Holocaust survivors. If justice and compassion for Holocaust survivors are of such urgency and moral gravity, one must ask why not? Why are we, in 2003 (the date of the publication), STILL hearing about destitute Holocaust survivors that have been denied justice for decades?

As a matter of fact, Holocaust survivors, to this day, complain that even recently-acquired Holocaust-restitution monies largely do not go to them. Other Jewish spokesmen say that this is exactly how it should be, asserting that Holocaust–reparation payments belong to ALL Jews, and not just Jewish survivors. (pp. 80-81; pp. 272-on).

What’s more, Holocaust reparations are being used for Holocaust education. (p. 278-279). Considering the mountains upon mountains of Holocaust-promoting material that already saturates western culture, this is a bit jarring. It tends to support the premise that the Holocaust Industry is, first and foremost, a self-perpetuating racket.

There is more. Wealthy Jewish organizations could have amply met the financial needs of the Holocaust survivors long ago, and not even have felt it—as pointed out by Norman Finkelstein.

One can reasonably suspect that the Holocaust survivors have been kept needy in order to serve as “bait” for never-ending Holocaust-reparation demands—to play on peoples’ and politicians’ emotions (the ARGUMENTAM AD MISERICORDIAM).


In the Swiss bank settlement, according to Bazyler, “True, Judge Korman never ruled on the legal arguments made by both sides in the Swiss bank litigation.” (p. 74). Now add this to the lawsuit against German industries that made use of slave labor. Bazyler adds, “Even if they were now less fearful of American litigation, practical considerations led the Germans to press for a global settlement akin to the settlement achieved by the Swiss banks. First, like the Swiss, the German companies were still under the threat of sanctions imposed by state and local governments…More important, those German multinationals doing a lot of business in the United States wanted to avoid the negative publicity that fresh allegations, unearthed from new historical research, might bring them.” (pp. 78-79).

The same campaign of intimidation worked in the case of the French banks. Bazyler comments, “The political pressure proved to be a significant element in moving the French banks to strive for a speedy end to the litigation.” (p. 182).


In some cases, as stressed by Bazyler, settlements related to the indemnification for Nazi German crimes have benefitted Slavic peoples. However, the lion’s share of payments has gone to Jews, and most of the remainder to specially-designated “victim” groups.

Consider the Swiss banks settlement. The following were beneficiaries: Jews, homosexuals, the physically handicapped, homosexuals, Gypsies (Sinti and Roma). On the other hand, Slavic peoples (Poles and Russians), who confessedly were also victims of the Nazis, were specifically EXCLUDED. (p. 34). This is justice??
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