A wide-ranging research project aiming to document the number of Nazi ghettos and camps has uncovered an estimated 42,500 Nazi facilitates, in a figure that has shocked even the most seasoned Holocaust historians and could have implications for restitution claims.
The camps were interspersed throughout Europe, including occupied areas like France, Russia, as well as Germany itself. Researchers had previously thought the number was closer to 7,000.
“How many claims have been rejected because the victims were in a camp that we didn’t even know about?” Sam Dubbin, a lawyer who represents survivors hoping to sue European insurance companies, told The New York Times.
Dubbin spoke to Moment recently about the bitter disagreement currently splitting the Jewish community over how to best handle Holocaust-era insurance claims. “This isn’t reparations or compensation for harm that Germany caused during the war; the survivors are seeking to enforce contracts their loved ones paid for in good faith,” he told Moment. “Germany destroyed millions of lives and if there are survivors in need today, it’s the German government’s responsibility to provide for them.”