Amsterdam to refund back taxes, fines paid by Holocaust survivors

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Amsterdam will reimburse the families of Jewish Holocaust survivors for back taxes and fines they paid after failing to pay city taxes while they were in hiding or in concentration camps.

The survivors or their families have a year to request the refund from the independently run Foundation for Individual Refunds Amsterdam, or ITA, the Dutch Jewish weekly Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad reported over the weekend.

The average compensation is estimated at about $1,800.

Het Parool, a local daily, reported in 2013 that many of the houses in question were confiscated and used by members of the NSB Dutch Nazi party while the Jewish owners were in hiding or in camps.

The city went after survivors as late as 1947 for back taxes and associated fines, the report said. Other Dutch municipalities waived such debts.

Charlotte van den Berg, a 23-year-old university student at the time, discovered the documents about the taxation. She said she found them bundled with an elastic band in the archive section of one of the city’s departments while conducting research on Jewish homeowners.

The city investigated the matter, including how much money was collected from Holocaust survivors, together with the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. The city then set up the foundation to handle the restitution claims.

About 75 percent of Holland’s pre-World War II Jewish population of 140,000 was murdered in the Holocaust, according to the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Hague-based watchdog on anti-Semitism that is known locally by its acronym, CIDI.

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