Jewish group asks Berlin for closure of Holocaust row

The World Jewish Congress on Tuesday urged Berlin to honor a longstanding request by the Greek Jewish community for the return of a ransom paid to Nazi occupiers during World War II to free thousands of forced laborers, now worth some 50 million euros.

Ahead of a scheduled visit to Athens by German President Joachim Gauck on Thursday, the head of the New York-based WJC, Ronald S. Lauder, asked Berlin to “resolve” the claim which Thessaloniki Jews have “pressed for decades and is extensively documented.”

“Now is the time to bring closure to this episode,” Lauder said, referring to Gauck’s visit and noting that Berlin has “settled so many Holocaust-era claims righteously.”