Date: Wed, 25 Mar 98 04:04:07 CST
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Subject: RNN / First Roma get Money from the Swiss Nazi Gold
Article: 30818
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First Roma get Money from the Swiss Nazi Gold

RNN, [25 March 1998]

BERN, Switzerland (RNN Correspondent) Feburary the 21st 1998. A Swiss fund for Holocaust victims made its first payment Wednesday to Roma survivors of Hitler's concentration camps.

Three Roma, now 58- to 78-years-old and living on social security payments, received $1,380 each at a ceremony in the German town of Singen. They are among 45 Roma—now living in Germany, France, Spain and Canada—on whose behalf an organization to support Roma submitted an application.

The other 42 will receive their payments shortly, the fund said in a statement.

The fund president, Rolf Bloch, emphasized the symbolic importance of recognizing this group of Holocaust victims.

About 88 percent of the fund, created last year, is intended to aid destitute Jewish survivors of the Nazis, especially those in eastern Europe who were denied Western assistance during decades of communist rule. The remaining 12 percent is to help non-Jewish survivors, including homosexuals, political opponents of the Nazis and Roma.

Swiss banks and industry have given $190 million to the fund. The first payments were made in November in Riga, Latvia.

Most recipients so far have received $415. The higher payout to the Roma takes into account the higher cost of living in western Europe, the fund said.