Posted by Irina Rutman

Volga RiverTen years ago, a victim of Nazi persecution from the former Soviet Union applied for reparations from Germany through the Hardship Fund. Her application was denied, she was told, because she was born on the wrong bank of the Volga River, which was not occupied by the Nazis.

When I started working in Schechter Holocaust Services in 2010, I visited the client and helped her fill out a new application for the Hardship Fund, this time on the basis of having been a fetus as her parents fled Nazi-occupied territory. This application was denied, too, on the basis of her date of birth.

In December 2012 the eligibility guidelines were expanded and people who fled 100 kilometers from the farthest Nazi army advance became eligible for the Hardship Fund.

I called the Claims Conference and asked whether my client could appeal or apply again. I was told that she had to provide her story after she was born and explain where her parents were from May 1942 until the end of the war.

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