Monday, August 24, 2015

Poland: Holocaust survivors face crippling Polish bureaucracy

After the Holocaust, Germany demanded survivors come up with documentation as well.

Via Jerusalem Post:
The aggressive run-around that Holocaust survivors in Israel face while attempting to get the state aid they are entitled to is an unfortunate yet well known blemish on Israeli society. But those that think Israeli bureaucracy is unparalleled would be wrong in that assumption. Polish bureaucracy has proven itself a far more exhausting venture, especially to Holocaust survivors.

In 1991, the Polish parliament passed a law granting stipends to Polish Holocaust survivors living in Poland exclusively.
This past April, an amendment to the law saw the government extending the stipend to Polish citizens living outside the country as well.

However, as survivors are quickly finding out, the road to receiving their stipend is full of government red tape in the form of ridiculous demands unsubstantiated by Polish law.
For example, survivors are requested  to provide evidence of their stay in ghettos or concentration camps. They are also required to fill out many forms in a level of the Polish language that is difficult, if not downright impossible for the survivors to understand.


However it doesn't come without its headaches, explains Lilly Haber, the head of the Polish Forum. "The eligible population for this stipend is survivors between the ages of 75-90 years old. The Poles require certification that these people were in concentration camps or ghettos, events that happened over 70 years ago. Where should these survivors get documentation from? Even if a victim photographs a picture of the numbers on her arm from Auschwitz and sends it in it isn't enough because it isn't an official document."   more

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