JTA — Hungary reportedly intends to raise pensions to Holocaust survivors by 50 percent in 2013, in the lead-up to the 70th anniversary of the extermination of the country’s Jews.
The increase in pensions will affect about 8,000 Holocaust survivors, who can expect to see more money as early as Jan. 1, according to the news site Hungary Around the Clock. Another 50 percent increase above the payments distributed in 2012 is planned for Jan. 1, 2014.
The report also said that the Hungarian cabinet will form a national Holocaust 2014 Memorial Commission to be run by Janos Lazar, the head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office.
Hungarian and German Nazi troops deported some 400,000 Jews from Hungary to Auschwitz in 1944.
The Claims Conference, an international body that represents world Jewry in compensation talks over Holocaust-era crimes, accused Hungary’s government in August of “depriving” Holocaust survivors through “disgraceful” and “deceitful tactics.”
The allegations came after Budapest demanded that the Claims Conference “return” $12.6 million to Hungary’s treasury because of what it called a failure to properly report who received the money.
Over the past few months, the Hungarian government has come under international pressure to curb anti-Semitic expression in parliament, mainly by politicians for the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party.