Monday, May 16, 2016 - 08:24
Amsterdam compensating Jewish community for unfair WWII leases
The municipality of Amsterdam is making 10 million euros available to the Jewish community as compensation for ground leases they had to pay upon returning to Amsterdam following the Second World War, the municipality announced on Sunday. The money will be given as a collective contribution to the Amsterdam Jewish community. According to the municipality, it is impossible to compensate all individual victims or their survivors for ground leases paid unfairly. In not all cases can it be determined exactly how high the ground lease was and whether it was ever paid. So the municipality opted to compensate the entire community. The money is intended to be used for projects or programs like the National Holocaust Museum. In March 2013 research for a student thesis revealed that Jewish war victims who were deported or went into hiding during the war, were still expected to pay overdue leases and were fined for not paying their ground lease during the war years. When this was revealed, Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan called the practice "formalistic, bureaucratic and cold." A later study showed that Amsterdam received between five and ten million euros in questionable leases. The municipality decided to compensate the Jewish community the highest amount in an effort to settle the matter well.