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Jewish Telegraphic Agency: In Ukraine, new funds for survivors brings high — some say unrealistic — expectations

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Sept. 28, 2012, 8:13 a.m. | Ukraine abroad — by Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Nazi persecution of Jews during WWII.
© AFP

ODESSA - In her dilapidated apartment, Larisa Rakovskaya examines a stack of unpaid heating bills. Sick and alone, the 86-year-old Holocaust survivor and widow is preparing for another encounter with the cold, her “worst and only fear.”

Rakovskaya says her hope of staying warm this winter lies with a one-time payment of approximately $3,200 that she may receive from Germany via the Claims Conference following Berlin’s recent decision to include victims of Nazi persecution in the former Soviet Union as beneficiaries of the so-called Hardship Fund. Some 80,000 survivors across the former Soviet Union are expected to qualify for the payouts, half of them in Ukraine, where a crumbling welfare system often leaves the old and disabled to live and die in penury. 

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