Saturday, March 05, 2005

# Posted 4:09 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

GIVE IT TO TZEDAKAH: According to the WaPo,
A German appeals court ruled Friday that a Jewish family forced to sell large tracts of prime real estate in Berlin before World War II deserved to recover part of its lost fortune in one of the largest remaining compensation claims from the Nazi era...

The ruling is expected to set a precedent in several other cases and could enable the [victims' heirs] to collect as much as $200 million in damages from [the German firm] Karstadt.
The article doesn't say what plans the heirs have for the money. I hope they have already or will immediately announce that 90% of it will be given to charity (or as Jews refer to it, tzedakah). As the WaPo points out,
The decision could deal a heavy blow to Karstadt, a department store giant in Germany since the 1880s that has struggled financially in recent years and announced plans in September to lay off thousands of workers and close more than one-third of its 180 stores.
I think it would look terrible for all those Germans to lose their jobs while the company hands over its bank accounts to some Jews from New Jersey. Not that the court's decision is unjust for that reason. But I think that donating the compensation funds to poor Jews in Israel and Russia would be an appropriate way to honor the victims of the Third Reich. (And if it were my money, a significant percentage would also be directed toward the victims of Saddam Hussein's brutality.)
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