War Reparations Not Available to Henry

Beginning in 1962, Henry began applying for benefits from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) fund for assistance to persons persecuted by reason of their nationality. He also applied directly to Germany for war reparations (though I only have copies of the UNHCR papers.) Though he’d survived the camps, he still had many physical ailments from the camps, that slowed down his physical capacity

substantially (and thus capacity to earn income), especially as a therapist. These limitations are even referenced in a letter of reference from St. Barnabus Hospital.

Beginning in the 1950’s, programs were negotiated between Germany and representatives of 23 Jewish organizations to negotiate compensation on behalf of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution directly . . . and provide funds for the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.  According to the website ushmm.org more than four million claims were submitted between 1953 and 1987, and more than DM (deutsche mark)72 billion for claims was settled over that time. 

According to other references, (Jewish) victims were given lifetime pensions for their persecution from the Nazis. If I read the information correctly, funds were not available to non-Jewish victims of Nazi persecution until 1981. 

I did write the following in my February 18 post: as to war reparations from Russia: 

It was agreed at Potsdam that Poland would receive war reparations from the Soviet portion – estimated at $350 billion. The Soviet authorities simply stated that since Poland annexed some territories that contained factories – they’d already received the value – and the Soviets kept all reparations – for a total of $950 billion.

As to Henry, I do know that Henry tried for years to get war reparations for his three years in the death camps and resulting physical ailments.  He would have loved to receive a pension, but he was not eligible. I have copies of the applications, the medical records he submitted, but it was not to be. Eventually in 1968 he received $1410 from the UN, after six years of correspondence and documentation.

Had Henry emigrated to the United States immediately after the war, he believed he would possibly have been eligible. Unfortunately the Soviet compensation/war reparations to Polish citizens was considered paid by the Soviet authorities because of land annexation. None of which filtered down to Poland, let alone her citizens. 

Note –  I offer my sincere apologies for not researching further the full history of german war reparations to Polish citizens.