Along this Brooklyn outpost’s ocean edge — the heart of much community life here — residents are talking about the betrayal they feel after the arrest of 17 people, mostly from Brighton Beach, on charges that they faked stories of Holocaust survival to profit from money meant for survivors of Nazi persecution.
"I cannot imagine that someone would lie like that; it’s a terrible crime," says Klara Rakhlin, 72, her bright makeup stark against her black, coiffed hair as she speaks in Russian. "I lost my family in a concentration camp, and it’s disgusting that people would get compensation although they haven’t suffered."
Rakhlin was little more than a toddler in 1941, when she entered the Pechora concentration camp in what is now Ukraine’s Vinnitsa region. By the time she left in 1944, she was school-aged.