Swiss bank funds from Holocaust may go to ex-Soviets

new york (jta) | A chunk of the remaining money in the $1.25 billion Holocaust-era Swiss banks settlement seems headed to the poorest of Holocaust survivors in the former Soviet Union.

That was the most likely scenario after the presiding judge in the case, Edward Korman of the U.S. District Court of Eastern New York, issued a scathing rebuke last week to an appeal by U.S. Holocaust survivors who want $200 million from the settlement to fund social services for the neediest among them.

In a blunt, 50-page memorandum, Korman denied the appeal by the Holocaust Survivors Foundation-USA as “vague” and “flawed.”

In contrast, he called “informative” a new survey that concludes that the poorest and neediest survivors are in the former Soviet Union.

“All individuals who survived the Holocaust bear scars, and all merit relief,” the judge wrote of his aims in administering the money. “Nevertheless, left with limited funds to distribute, I had to render a judgment as to whose need was the greatest.”

The battle over the money could erupt again in Korman’s court April 29 after representatives from the competing groups make a pitch for their funding proposals.