Survivors angry with reparations group on Holocaust Day

Israel's official memorial day for the Holocaust, which begins at sundown Wednesday, finds many elderly survivors of the Nazi genocide turning their anger on a group that is meant to help them.

For more than five decades, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany — better known as the Claims Conference — has been the central channel for billions of dollars in restitution and reparations payments from Germany to Jewish victims of the Third Reich.

Sixty-three years after Allied troops freed emaciated prisoners from the Nazi death camps, the group has become the target of increasingly strident criticism. Some survivors charge it with amassing excessive wealth in their name while forgetting the very people it is designed to serve, many of whom are growing old in poverty.

More than anything, critics say far too much money is going to projects like Holocaust museums and broader Jewish causes instead of to making survivors' lives better in the time they have left.

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