12.5 m of textual material and 6 boxes of index cards
Scope and Content
This accession consists of 43 cubic foot boxes of closed case files as well as six boxes of index cards created by the United Restitution Organization, Toronto Office. The case files document the Article 2 (boxes 1 - 11) and Hardship (boxes 12 - 43) programs. Most of the documentation within the case files are in German.
The index cards document the BEG and Russlandfaille programs and correspond to records that were transferred to the Holocaust Museum in Washington. The files were created during the early years of the URO that were donated by URO to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. in October, 1990. That institution has approximately 100 boxes of closed case files from the Toronto Office. The index cards DO NOT correspond to any case files that we have as part of our holdings.
After the Toronto URO office closed, the one case worker left moved from the second floor of the Lipa Green Building to the same floor as the OJA the end of March, 2007. Before the move, the OJA was asked to take all of the historical files that were there in boxes, listed them and transferred them to the UJA Warehouse. The index cards are in the OJA vault.
In Canada, the United Restitution Organization (URO) was founded in 1953 under the aegis of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The funds advanced by the Claims Conference were administered by the CJC which also gave support by providing the URO with office space and clerical staff. Offices were set up in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. The Winnipeg and Vancouver offices closed in the 1970s and the Montreal office remained open until 2002, after which time the active cases were sent to the Toronto office. The Toronto office officially closed on April 1, 2007. There was one case worker, however, who contintued to tend to any active claims that were left. Her position was transfered to Jewish Family and Child in 2013.
The URO dealt with a variety of different types of claims. The first and largest were the BEG cases (Bundesentschaedigungsgesetz), which translates as Federal Indemnification Law for the Compensation of Victims of National Socialist Persecution. This program provided compensation for individuals persecuted for political, racial, religious, or ideological reasons who suffered long-term damage to their health, imprisonment, death of family members, loss of property, reduced income, or reduced professional advancement. The other two major programs or cases covered by the URO were the Hardship Fund and Article 2. The Hardship Fund was established during the 1960s and was open to Jews who emigrated from the former Soviet Union who were not eligible for compensation under the BEG program. The Article 2 program, in turn, arose during the 1990s, after the unification of the German government. It is still operating today and is open to Jewish victims of Nazi persecution who met a certain critiera, and those who are eligible, are provided with a pension paid out in installments every three months each year.
Closed. Researchers must receive permission from the OJA Director prior to accessing the records.