Shalom Life | April 01, 2015

Holocaust Guilt Inspires Germans to Donate Estates to Israel

Donations from Germans have peaked in 2012, say Israeli government officials

By: Sammy Hudes

Published: August 1st, 2012 in News » Israel

Holocaust Guilt Inspires Germans to Donate Estates to Israel

Government sources in Israel say that there has been a rise in donations in 2012 from German citizens who wish to leave their estates to the State of Israel, according to Yedioth Ahronot.

Approximately once a month, a courier arrives at the Israeli embassy in Berlin with a letter sent from a recently deceased old German citizen and signed by an attorney stating that the deceased has decided to leave his or her money, home or jewels, and in some cases even gold bars, to Israel.

This phenomenon has gone on for years, says the Israeli embassy, as officials estimate that these donations are often sparked by the guilty conscience of some Germans due to the country’s dark past.

“We think these people's conscience was burdened with the mass extermination of the Jews and at the end of their days they decided to make amends by giving their estate to Israel,” an embassy official told Yedioth Ahronot.

Thus far, a total of 200 donors aged 80 to 100 years old have been recorded, with the largest single donation worth approximately NIS 6 million, or $1.5 million in Canadian currency.

The Israeli government says that there has been an increase in donations as of late, as this might be attributed to higher mortality rates of the donors due to old age.

While most donations are only revealed posthumously at the reading of the deceased’s will, some have even been known to occur during a donor’s lifetime.

After receiving these donations, the Israeli embassy in Berlin then transfers the assets over to the General State Custodian at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem.

A recent inquiry shows that many of the donors are devout Christians who decided to transfer their funds to Israel for religious reasons. The list also includes Jewish donors, probably childless, who decided to transfer their estate to Israel.

New Evidence Reveals Anne Frank Didn't Die When We Thought She Did New Evidence Reveals Anne Frank Didn't Die When We Thought She Did TrendingToronto Professionals, Politicians Show Unwavering Support for Israel and Democracy at ACTION 2015 Toronto Professionals, Politicians Show Unwavering Support for Israel and Democracy at ACTION 2015 TrendingJewish Transgender Teen Celebrates 'Coming Out Ceremony' with His Community Jewish Transgender Teen Celebrates 'Coming Out Ceremony' with His Community Trending
 

New Evidence Reveals Anne Frank Didn't Die When We Thought She Did

March 31, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
New Evidence Reveals Anne Frank Didn't Die When We Thought She Did

Despite the world remembering the Frank sisters on March 31st, new evidence suggests that the girls passed away in February, and not two weeks before the liberation of their Bergen-Belsen concentration camp

Read More

Martha Stewart Killed It At Justin Bieber’s Roast

March 31, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Martha Stewart Killed It At Justin Bieber’s Roast

The 73 year-old lifestyle mogul blew audiences away at the roast of Justin Bieber when she dominated the event with her quick wit and sharp tongue

Read More

JDC Offers Relief to Ukraine's Jews this Passover

March 31, 2015 | By Jeffrey F. Barken, JNS.org
JDC Offers Relief to Ukraine's Jews this Passover

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee will deliver nearly 48,000 free packages of matzah to Ukrainian Jews in need

Read More

Study: Israeli Women Believe Being A Female Breadwinner is "Unfeminine"

March 31, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Study: Israeli Women Believe Being A Female Breadwinner is "Unfeminine"

In a recent study at the University of Haifa, women admitted to working unpaid hours, and performing unpaid tasks, believing that asking for equal pay is seen to be as unfeminine

Read More

Wonderful Initiative Helps Over 100 Orphaned Boys Celebrate Bar Mitzvah Together

March 31, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Wonderful Initiative Helps Over 100 Orphaned Boys Celebrate Bar Mitzvah Together

Colel Chabad organization holds event at Western Wall and International Convention Center in Jerusalem

Read More

New Toronto Marketing Agency Finds the Most Influential Social Media Users to Effectively Market Your Brand

March 31, 2015 | By Sy Berg
New Toronto Marketing Agency Finds the Most Influential Social Media Users to Effectively Market Your Brand

Using a complex algorithm, The Leaders are able to recruit users with high rankings on social media, and utilize their influence to increase brand recognition for clients like Google and L'Oreal

Read More

5,000-Year-Old Beer-Making Pottery Discovered in Central Tel Aviv

March 31, 2015 | By Itay Blumenthal
5,000-Year-Old Beer-Making Pottery Discovered in Central Tel Aviv

Archaeologist: 'Tel Aviv has been city that never sleeps for thousands of years'

Read More

Here's Every Jew and Israel Joke Trevor Noah Has Made on Social Media

March 31, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Here's Every Jew and Israel Joke Trevor Noah Has Made on Social Media

People are furious with the South African comedian tapped as Jon Stewart's replacement for 'The Daily Show'

Read More

More Headlines