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IN RE HOLOCAUST VICTIM ASSETS LITIGATION

March 9, 2004.

IN RE: HOLOCAUST VICTIM ASSETS LITIGATION, This Document Relates to: All Cases


The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDWARD KORMAN, Chief Judge, District

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

I address here yet another issue that has arisen with respect to the $1.25 billion settlement of the class action against the largest Swiss banks, Credit Suisse, Union Bank of Switzerland and the Swiss Bank Corporation (the latter two of which merged during the course of litigation). The background of the case and settlement is set out in In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, 105 F. Supp.2d 139 (E.D.N.Y. 2000), and a discussion of some of the post-settlement issues may be found at In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, No. 96 Civ. 4849, 2004 WL 318468 (E.D.N.Y. February 19, 2004), In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, 270 F. Supp.2d 313 (E.D.N.Y. 2002), and at In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, No. 96 Civ. 4849, 2000 WL 33241660 (E.D.N.Y. November 22, 2000).

The specific issue here involves a dispute relating to the allocation of part of the proceeds of the settlement. Briefly, one of the classes benefitting from the settlement was comprised of victims Page 2 of Nazi persecution from whom assets were looted by the Nazis and the plunder of which was aided by Swiss banks. Special Master Judah Gribetz recommended initially that $100 million be allocated to this Looted Assets Class and that the money be distributed to its neediest members. See Special Master's Proposed Plan of Allocation and Distribution of Settlement Proceeds 110-142 (hereafter "Plan of Allocation"). I discuss later the reasons underlying that recommendation, which I adopted on November 22, 2000, see In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., 2000 WL 33241660, and which the Second Circuit affirmed on July 26, 2001. See In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., 14 Fed. Appx. 132, 134 (2d Cir. 2001). On September 25, 2002, I adopted another recommendation of the Special Master that an additional $45 million in "excess" funds be allocated to that class. Finally, on November 17, 2003, I adopted the recommendation of the Special Master that $60 million in "excess" funds be allocated to the Looted Assets Class and be distributed in accordance with the cy pres principles that have successfully governed the administration of the initial allocation and distribution of $100 million to the Looted Assets Class in 2001, and the first supplemental allocation and distribution of $45 million in 2002.

  I also adopted the Special Master's recommendations made in response to my request seeking his view on the appropriateness of allocation of money, if any, that may remain undistributed from the $800 million allocated to the Deposited Assets Class, which is composed largely of heirs of victims of Nazi persecution who deposited funds in Swiss banks. The Special Master recommended that, "as with the excess funds, residual unclaimed funds, if any, should likewise be re-allocated to the Looted Assets Class for distribution to needy Nazi victims in accordance with the cy pres principles governing the administration of that class." Special Master's Interim Report on Distribution and Recommendation for Allocation of Excess and Possible Unclaimed Residual Funds, at 7 (hereafter "Special Master's Interim Report"). Because any such distribution would involve residual unclaimed Page 3 funds, "the disposition of which has not yet been the subject of discussion by class members, the Special Master recommend[ed] that the Court solicit proposals from a broad array of interested persons and organizations as to how best to identify and to benefit the neediest survivors." Id. He further urged that, "depending upon the amount of residual, if any, the Court may wish to consider a modest distribution to communal, remembrance and/or educational programs." Id. at 13 n.14.

  The Special Master observed that, by the end of the proposed filing and comment period in connection with proposals submitted by interested persons and organizations, a reasonably firm Deposited Assets Class distribution assessment should be available, rendering it possible to estimate the amount of unclaimed funds, if any, available for cy pres distribution. At that point, after considering such proposals, the Special Master will issue a final recommendation as to how to distribute unclaimed funds. The date provided in my November 17, 2003 order for the submission of the final recommendation of the Special Master was March 15, 2004. I subsequently received numerous requests for additional time to submit proposals, and I extended the date for the Special Master's final recommendation to April 16, 2004. After a public hearing to be held on April 29, 2004, I will make a final determination as to the distribution of any residual funds.

  My order of November 17, 2003 also explicitly rejected objections that had been filed by Samuel Dubbin on behalf of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation-USA, Inc., (HSF-USA), and those filed by Robert Swift. I indicated then that an opinion would follow, and I now provide that opinion. The Special Master's Interim Report, the Declaration of Burt Neuborne in Support of the Interim Report of the Special Master (hereafter "Neuborne Declaration"), and the Supplemental Declaration of Burt Neuborne in Response to Objections to the Special Master's Interim Report and Recommendation Filed by Samuel Dubbin, Esq. (hereafter "Supplemental Neuborne Declaration") provide a compelling case for the adoption of the recommendation of the Special Master. The Page 4 principal purpose of this memorandum is to more specifically address the objections filed by Mr. Dubbin on behalf of HSF-USA.

  Mr. Dubbin has been filing objections for several years, all premised on the same flawed reasoning. See Motion for Immediate Interim Distribution of Swiss Settlement Proceeds, filed September 11, 2003 (hereafter "Motion for Immediate Distribution"); Response of Holocaust Survivors Foundation-USA, Inc. to Special Master's Interim Recommendation (hereafter "HSF Response"); Objections of U.S. Survivor Groups to Special Master's Recommendations Concerning Allocation of Accumulated Interest on Settlement Funds, filed September 27, 2002 (hereafter "HSF Objection to Allocation of Interest"). While the HSF-USA has never demonstrated that it has any legal standing to raise these objections (a point I will discuss later), it is important to address them on the merits. Professor Neuborne has done so in a characteristically comprehensive and thoughtful affidavit. See Supplemental Neuborne Declaration. I do so here.

  Part I: The Merits of HSF-USA's Objections

  As Professor Neuborne observed, HSF-USA's objections can be divided into three categories. First is Mr. Dubbin's demand that I make a larger amount available for "immediate distribution" to members of the Looted Assets Class. Second is his objection to the allocation formula that has thus far governed the distribution of money to the Looted Assets Class. And third is his challenge to my continued use of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc., for distribution of settlement funds. As to the third objection, I adopt Professor Neuborne's response without repeating it. See Supplemental Neuborne Declaration, at ¶ 22; see also Letter from Steven Schwager to Professor Neuborne, dated October 29, 2003. I address the first and second objections below.

 A. Mr. Dubbin's demand for a larger "immediate distribution" Page 5

  The Special Master proposed, and I ordered, that the $60 million in excess funds that have accrued through interest on the settlement fund be made available for immediate distribution to members of the Looted Assets Class. Instead of this distribution of $60 million, Mr. Dubbin would have me allocate to the Looted Assets Class $200 million of the $650 million that remains set aside for possible distribution to claimants to accounts in Swiss banks that were either unpaid or transferred improperly to the Nazis. See Motion for Immediate Distribution. Of the $200 million, Mr. Dubbin demands that a minimum of $50 million be set aside for "immediate distribution" to survivors in the United States. Id. I reject Mr. Dubbin's objection.

  First and foremost, Mr. Dubbin's proposal does not call for the "immediate distribution" of any funds to survivors, as the title of his motion and its introduction misleadingly suggest. Rather, Mr. Dubbin proposes that $50 million be "set aside in trust to be spent in accordance with the decisions of a committee of HSF survivors," representatives of other organizations, and "the Court." Motion for Immediate Distribution, at 1 n.1. This "Dubbin Committee," of which he proposes to make me a member, would make decisions on "[t]he use of such funds . . . guided by an assessment of current need, and the likelihood and timing of funds from other sources such as the Claims Conference (Successor Organization Funds), the International Commission for Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) `humanitarian funds,' and the Final Secondary Distribution in this case." Id. The "Dubbin Committee" proposal foreshadows a drawn-out process rife with potential for disagreement among its members. Indeed, disagreement leading to the resignation of several founding members of HSF-USA has already occurred. See Nacha Cattan, Survivors' Group Leaders Split Over Aid. The Forward, January 16, 2004; see also Israel J. Sachs et al., Letter to the Editor, The Forward, January 23, 2004 ("It is our belief that our goals should be pursued through discussion and negotiation, not by fights that pit one Jew against another."). Such a committee (which may or may not be able to Page 6 distribute money faster than the procedures currently employed) is not necessary. Nor is it consistent with the control — not a seat on a committee — that the law requires that I exercise over the distribution process.

  More importantly, the time is simply not ripe for a larger "immediate distribution" of residual funds to members of the Looted Assets Class. Mr. Dubbin claims that, "[t]here is over $670 million dollars under the Court's control right now, sitting in the bank, helping no one other than the bankers." HSF Response, at 2. He continues, "[t]his money is, legally and morally, the Survivors' money." Motion for Immediate Distribution, at 10. These statements reveal Mr. Dubbin's basic misunderstanding of the settlement. The $800 million that was set aside for individuals with claims against the Swiss Banks for deposited assets (of which approximately $650 million now remains) belongs to those survivors or their heirs. It was not set aside for, nor does it belong to, the survivor community as whole. This large sum was set aside in part because, of all the claims asserted against the Swiss Banks, only the claims of the Deposited Assets Class have any legal merit. The other claims could not have withstood a motion to dismiss. As the Second Circuit explained in affirming my decision:
[The Deposited Assets Class] claims are based on well-established legal principles, have the ability of being proved with concrete documentation, and are readily valuated in terms of time and inflation. By contrast, the claims of the other four classes are based on novel and untested legal theories of liability, would have been very difficult to prove at trial, and will be very difficult to accurately valuate.
In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., 14 Fed. Appx. 132, 134 (2d Cir. 2001).

  Under these circumstances, I have a legal and moral obligation to the Deposited Assets Class not to use the funds that belong to it for a cy pres distribution until I am certain that the claims to those funds will not exceed the amount set aside. The $800 million set aside already takes into account the certainty that, due to the passage of time, the destruction of documents and the slaughter of millions, claims awarded will not equal the current value of accounts identified by the Volcker Committee as Page 7 probably or possibly belonging to survivors. Indeed, it is a half billion dollars less than the present value of such accounts. Moreover, as I explained in my order of February 19, 2004, see In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., No. 96 Civ. 4849, 2004 WL 318468 (E.D.N.Y. February 19, 2004), the accounts identified by the Volcker Committee as probably or possibly belonging to Nazi survivors understate significantly the number of accounts once belonging to survivors.

  Nevertheless, Mr. Dubbin argues that "$200 million is a sum that no reasonable person would argue is too high of a minimum estimate of the amount that will remain from the $800 million set aside for Deposited Assets such that the allocation of the amount today would interfere with the payment of meritorious pending claims." Motion for Immediate Distribution, at 3. I disagree. Whether $200 million will remain from the $800 million set aside for the Deposited Assets Class is not yet knowable. The Special Master has indicated that several things must happen before he can accurately estimate the amount of residual funds, if any, that will remain from money allocated to the Deposited Assets Class. Of primary importance, additional accounts should be published in order to help identify any remaining claimants; the Claims Resolution Tribunal ("CRT") must complete an experimental trial of matching names against accounts in the Total Accounts Databases ("TAD"); the CRT must then be given broader access to the TAD if the experimental matching so demands; and the CRT must be given time to use a newly improved computer system in an effort to match claimants' names against accounts that might have belonged to Nazi victims. Of course, several of these steps have yet to be completed. See In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., 2004 WL 318468.

  The order I have signed directs the Special Master to provide an accurate estimate of the amount set aside for the Deposited Assets Class that will not be distributed to the members of that class, if any, by April 16, 2004. Because of ongoing concerns described in the paragraph above, it appears that more time may be required. Nevertheless, whether or not it is possible for him to provide Page 8 an accurate estimate by April 16, 2004, he will by that date provide a recommendation for the cy pres distribution of any residual funds. After hearing proposals from interested parties, I will decide on a plan of allocation. Because of my obligations to the Deposited Assets Class, I reject Mr. Dubbin's objection that this delay is unreasonable. In advance of hearing all proposals and the Special Master's recommendation, I will not allocate $50 million "in trust" to a committee to decide how it should be spent. Nor will I set aside an additional $150 million that belongs to bank account holders or their heirs for distribution among the survivor community as a whole.

 B. Mr. Dubbin's challenge to the allocation formula used in distributing funds

  Mr. Dubbin also objects to the allocation formula that governs the distribution of the additional $60 million that is now being allocated. This objection is consistent with his prior appeal from the initial allocation of $100 million to needy members of the Looted Assets Class and his objection to the $45 million allocated to needy victims of Nazi persecution in the first allocation of excess funds. Mr. Dubbin withdrew his appeal from the initial allocation, and I denied his objection to the first allocation of excess funds as untimely. Mr. Dubbin has filed a motion for reconsideration of that order and he has filed a motion for reconsideration in reference to the most recent denial, both of which are still pending. I have never specifically addressed his objections on the merits.

  Mr. Dubbin's objections can be summarized as follows: He agrees that funds allocated to the Looted Assets Class should be distributed through a cy pres distribution to the neediest survivors, but only after distributing the funds pro rata among countries. Put differently, he argues that a survivor community in a given country should be allocated (for the benefit of its neediest survivors only) a percentage of the Looted Assets Class funds equal to whatever percentage of the world survivor community it represents. This proposal is tailored to benefit individuals who are a part of a small group of needy survivors within a large nationwide survivor population. Not surprisingly, needy Page 9 survivors in the United States — whose interests Mr. Dubbin claims to represent — are just such a group. This proposed distribution scheme is wholly inconsistent with law, morality, and most importantly, the settlement of this lawsuit. In sum, these objections are frivolous. Several are also likely precluded by the withdrawal of Mr. Dubbin's initial appeal. But because the objections have been recurring, I address them now in the hope that they can be put to rest.

 1. The rationale for my distribution plan

  The reasons underlying the distribution plan that I have overseen for the Looted Assets Class are described comprehensively in the Special Master's Plan of Allocation. Nevertheless, because of Mr. Dubbin's apparent misunderstanding of these reasons, I take this opportunity to explain, once again, how we are distributing the money.

  The Looted Assets Class is incredibly large. It consists of:
Victims or Targets of Nazi Persecution and their heirs, successors, administrators, executors, affiliates, and assigns who have or at any time have asserted, assert, or may in the future seek to assert Claims against any Releasee for relief of any kind whatsoever relating to or arising in any way from Looted Assets or Cloaked Assets or any effort to recover Looted Assets or Cloaked Assets.
Settlement Agreement, Section 8.2(b). As the Special Master correctly reasoned, "[f]here is scarcely a victim of the Nazis who was not looted, and on nearly an incomprehensible scale." Plan of Allocation, at 111. After all, "it is well accepted by historians, including those representing Switzerland, that a primary purpose of the Nazi plunder was to transform loot (especially, but not only gold) into foreign currency by marketing these items in neutral nations, including Switzerland." Id. at 114. "With only limited exceptions, however, the current historicalrecord simply does not permit precise determinations even as to the material losses in total, much less the nature and value of the loot traceable to Switzerland or Swiss entities." Id. Page 10 at 112. To prevent the expenditure of incredible sums on administration, the Special Master recommended that for allocation purposes, I assume that all survivors of the Holocaust and their heirs were valid members of this class, even if they could not prove an injury directly tied to a Swiss entity. I agreed.

  I then was faced with two obvious and unsatisfactory possibilities for how to govern the distribution ofmoneyto this enormous class. I could have used a claims resolution facility to determine the validity and value of claims on a case-by-case basis, or I could have ordered a pro rata distribution to every member of the class. The first option, given the complete lack of adequate records, would have resulted in "an unwieldy and enormously expensive apparatus to adjudicate hundreds of thousands of claims, for losses which can barely be measured and hardly be documented, and whose connection to Switzerland, or a Swiss entity, if ever it existed, probably no longer can be proven." Id. at 114-15. The second option, which is apparently what Mr. Swift — whose objections I rejected in may November 17, 2003 order — would prefer, was equally problematic. Mr. Swift continues to argue that there should be a pro rata distribution to the approximately 500,000 Looted Assets Class members who filled out "detailed claim forms." Declaration of Robert A. Swift in Opposition to the Interim Report of the Special Master, f 3. These "detailed claim forms" were non-binding questionnaires that explicitly stated that an individual could later make a claim without having filled out such a questionnaire. The class, therefore, is not limited to these 500,000 individuals. Rather, for allocation purposes, the class includes all those who were victims of the Holocaust and their heirs. A pro rata distribution would have resulted in the payment of literally pennies to each of the millions of individuals who would fall into this class. Such a distribution scheme is not uncommon in class action cases where members of the class get pennies or coupons, the cumulative total of which is used to justify awarding millions of dollars in legal fees. But such a plan is wholly unsatisfactory Page 11 here because it promises almost no benefit to members of the class. Indeed, if Mr. Swift's proposal were the only alternative, I would ask the Special Master to suggest a cy pres distribution of the excess funds for a purpose other than providing assistance to members of the Looted Assets Class.

  Fortunately, there is a more reasonable alternative. The Special Master recommended excluding heirs from any pro rata distribution, as was done with the Refugee and Slave Labor classes. While this would have increased the pro rata share of survivors, it would still have resulted in one-time individual awards that would not have been enough to provide any assistance to needy survivors and would have been insignificant to those who are not needy. Consequently, I adopted the accompanying recommendation of the Special Master and ordered a cy pres remedy targeting the neediest survivors in the Looted Assets Class. See Special Master's Interim Report, at 3 n.3. The Special Master reasoned that these individuals "perhaps would be less in need today had their assets not been looted and their lives nearly destroyed" during the Nazi era. Plan of Allocation, at 117. I agreed that using the funds to provide relief to these neediest survivors over the course of ten years would be the way to most benefit the class as a whole. In order to reduce administrative costs, these funds were funneled through organizations that were already providing relief to survivor communities and could quickly provide aid. I reserved the right to grant other cy pres remedies as worthwhile proposals are presented, but my principal decision was consistent with Second Circuit law. See In re Agent Orange Product Liability Litig., 818 F.2d 145, 158 (2d Cir. 1987) (explicitly authorizing a district court to "give as much help as possible to individuals who, in general, are most in need of assistance" because it is "equitable to limit payments to those with the most severe injuries"). Indeed, the Second Circuit agreed. See In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litig., 14 Fed. Appx. 132 (2d Cir. 2001) (finding that appellants' challenge to my decision to apply the cy pres doctrine to the Page 12 Looted Assets Class "lack[ed] merit").

  The next step, which is apparently the only step at which Mr. Dubbin and I diverge, was the determination of who are the neediest survivors of the Holocaust. A comparison of needy survivors is by definition an odious process. All individuals who survived the Holocaust bear scars, and all merit relief. Nevertheless, left with limited funds to distribute, I had to render a judgment as to whose need was the greatest. I decided that 90% of the funds should be awarded to Jewish survivors, and 10% should be awarded to other victims of the Holocaust, including surviving Roma, Jehovah's Witness, homosexual and disabled victims of Nazi persecution. This decision was consistent with restitution agreements dating back to the end of the war and with current assessments of demographics. See Plan of Allocation, at 118-19 and Annex C ("Demographics of `Victim or Target' Groups"). Of the 90% awarded to Jewish survivors, I determined that 75% should be allocated to needy survivors living in the Former Soviet Union ("FSU"), and 25% should be allocated to needy survivors living in Israel, North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. Ultimately, approximately 4% of the funds from the Looted Assets Class has been allocated to needy survivors in the United States. The decision to allocate 75% of the money awarded to Jewish members of the Looted Assets Class to needy survivors in the FSU while allocating only 4% of the money to needy survivors in the United States was not arrived at lightly. It was based on what I perceived to be the number of impoverished survivors in each country, their relative need, and their other available sources of support. However, it is this decision that caused Mr. Dubbin to object. Thus, it is this division, 75% as compared to 4%, on which I focus.

 2. Identifying the neediest survivors

  According to the most comprehensive demographic studies available, there are between 832,000 Page 13 and 960,000 Jewish survivors ofNazi persecution. See generally Plan of Allocation, Annex C (explaining the demographic data). Of these, approximately 19%-27% live in the FSU, and 14%-19% live in the United States. See id. at 11. Although debate continues over the precise percentages, there is a general consensus that this is the approximate distribution. Indeed, these numbers were confirmed by the recent report of independent researchers from Brandeis University. See Jewish Elderly Nazi Victims: A Synthesis of Comparative Information on Hardship and Need in the United States, Israel, and the Former Soviet Union (January 20, 2004) (Report prepared for the JDC) (hereafter "Brandeis Report"). The Brandeis Report was an effort to compare the communities of Jewish survivors in the United States, Israel and the FSU in terms of size, and in terms of need. It relied on prior surveys of the Nazi victim population in each region, and documented only one survey that deviated from the figures provided above — a survey that used a different definition of "survivor" and found that only 13% lived in the FSU and 16% lived in the United States, with a greater majority living in Israel. Id. at 21. The rest of the surveys considered by the Brandeis Report found that approximately 22%-23% of Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution live in the FSU, and 15%-17% live in the United States. Id. The Brandeis Report made no recommendations, but it drew many conclusions. Published several years after the Special Master filed his Plan of Allocation, the Brandeis Report confirmed the assessment of the Special Master that the population of needy survivors is distributed quite differently than the population of survivors. Before turning to an examination of this differential distribution, I attempt to briefly explain why it exists.

  With the onset of the Cold War, survivors in the FSU were essentially cut off from the West. Since then, survivors in the United States have shared in various distributions that began with the end of the Nazi era and have continued until today, while survivors behind the Iron Curtain have received next to nothing. Page 14

  The Special Master exhaustively and impressively chronicled the course of Holocaust compensation in Annex E of his Plan of Allocation. Here, it suffices to restate its conclusions. Including the multiple class awards in this case, there have been ten major compensation efforts since the end of the war. The principle efforts, preceding this one, have been the Federal German Indemnification Program ("BEG Pensions"), payments by the Israeli Ministry of Finance, the Hardship Fund, the Article 2 Fund, the Central and Eastern European Fund, and the German Slave Labor Fund. These efforts and others, together with this lawsuit, have resulted in distributions of over $53 billion to individual survivors and programs serving individual survivors. See Chart on Holocaust Compensation prepared by Special Master in consultation with the Claims Conference and other available sources (Draft, dated March 5, 2004). Of this, approximately $14.8 billion, or just shy of 28% of all restitution funds has gone to survivors in the United States. Id. Comparatively, just under $444 million, or 0.8% of all restitution funds has gone to survivors in the FSU. Id.

  The primary reason for this imbalance is Germany's decades-long refusal to negotiate with those behind the Iron Curtain. In the BEG Pension distributions, which have for decades provided hundreds of thousands of survivors worldwide with monthly pensions, Germany excluded "all the survivors of Eastern Europe who did not emigrate to a non-Communist country." Plan of Allocation, Annex E, at 35. It did the same with the Article 2 Fund and with the Hardship Fund. In 1998, almost a decade after the end of the Cold War, Germany took a small step to rectify the imbalance by instituting the Central and Eastern European Fund ("CEEF").

  The CEEF was setup "to compensate directly, for the first time, Holocaust victims who still remain in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe." Plan of Allocation, Annex E, at 55. But this Page 15 program was woefully inadequate. It defines "survivor" restrictively, thus continuing to ignore many victims of Nazi persecution who have never been compensated for their suffering with even a dime. To qualify for payments, a survivor must show that he or she was "confined or restricted" for at least six months in a concentration camp, prison camp, or forced labor battalion, or "confined or restricted" for at least 18 months in a ghetto, hiding in inhuman conditions, or as a child living under a false identity. See id. at 49-50. Jews who survived five months in a concentration camp do not qualify for payments. Nor do the many Jews who fled their homes as the Nazis approached, losing property of incalculable value. In 1999, before the distribution of settlement funds from this case had begun, Dovid Katz, a Professor of Yiddish language, literature and culture at the University of Vilnius in Lithuania, movingly explained the situation for these poor survivors:
The last elderly Jews of Eastern Europe, whose lives were ruined by the Holocaust, and who choose to live out their days in the towns of their ancestors, are suffering acutely from malnutrition, poverty and lack of medicine, while the millions (or billions) from Germany, Switzerland and the great American Jewish organizations pass them by.
Dovid Katz, How to Help the Holocaust's Last Victims. The Forward, September 24, 1999 (cited in Plan of Allocation, at 124).

  Survivors in the FSU also had to suffer through decades of Communism. This is why they are often referred to as "double victims." Stuart Eizenstat, the former Deputy Secretary of the Treasury who was instrumental in the efforts of the United States to bring about Holocaust restitution agreements, explained that he coined the term "double victims" after coming "face-to-face with the Holocaust survivor community of Eastern Europe." Stuart E. Eizenstat, Imperfect Justice, at 28 (2003). The individuals "had lived through both the Nazi massacre and the Communist repression that followed," and their faces reflected "the brutality Page 16 of our time." Id. As brutal as life was under Communism, however, the situation for many elderly pensioners has become even worse with its collapse. See Plan of Allocation, Annex F ("Social Safety Nets"), at 2. "It is well known, for example, that the personal savings of many individuals in the FSU were wiped out by hyperinflation after the collapse of the Soviet Union." Brandeis Report, at 42. As a result, approximately 60% of all elderly now living in the FSU are impoverished, and the situation for survivors is particularly bad. Plan of Allocation, Annex F, at 2.

  The survivor community in the FSU is currently served by a network of 177 Hesed service centers developed by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee ("JDC") beginning in 1992. Hesed is a Hebrew word meaning "acts of loving kindness," and these centers have lived up to their name. By 2001, the centers provided assistance to over 225,000 needy elderly Jews, approximately 135,000 of whom are Nazi victims. Because of their experience in serving this community, I have relied on the JDC, and in turn, these Hesed centers, to effectively distribute funds from the Looted Assets Class to survivors in the FSU. The centers provide hunger relief programs, home care, winter relief, and basic medical services. They have also been able to collect detailed information about the FSU's survivor population and provide accurate assessments of the community's level of need. Not surprisingly, the researchers preparing the Brandeis Report relied heavily on the Hesed network's database of each person assisted, including 135,000 registered survivors, in developing a comprehensive comparison of survivors' levels of need in the United States, Israel, and the FSU. See Brandeis Report, at 22-24. Put simply, survivors in the FSU are barely surviving.

  The Brandeis Report recognizes that the 135,000 survivors served by Hesed centers are "by definitionimpoverished," and begins to explain how this destitution compares to the experience of survivors Page 17 in the United States. Brandeis Report, at 39. For information on survivors in the United States, the Brandeis Report draws primarily on the National Jewish Population Survey(NJPS), one of the surveys that Mr. Dubbin now claims support his request for reconsideration of my decision denying his motion. See id. at 26-29; Request for Rehearing or Clarification of Court's November 17, 2003 Memorandum and Order, filed December 2, 2003. The NJPS was administered by the United Jewish Communities in 2000-2001 via telephone to approximately 4,500 Jews living in the United States. See United Jewish Communities Report, Nazi Victims Now Residing in the United States: Findings from the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-01, Draft, dated December 18, 2003 (hereafter "NJPS Draft, dated December 18, 2003"). The survey included over 300 questions on a range of topics, including questions designed to ascertain whether a person was a Nazi victim. Of the 4,500 people surveyed, 146 were identified as Nazi victims. Thus, the information gleaned from the NJPS regarding the condition of survivors living in the United States (which it estimated to be a population of approximately 122,000) is based on questions posed to these 146 individuals. The Brandeis Report, "[f]aced with the task of describing the characteristics and the living conditions of the Jewish Nazi victim population in the USA," turned to other surveys to flesh out ...


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