This week Belgium's banks and government agreed to begin paying $170 million in restitution, to families of Holocaust survivors whose property and goods were stolen by Nazi occupiers. The agreement comes years after passing a law authorizing the compensation.
Approximately half of the 50,000 Jews living in Belgium at the beginning of World War II perished in the Holocaust. Of the reparations, $54 million will be paid to individuals, with the rest of the $170 million to be put in a Jewish trust for the poor and for Holocaust education.
The picture above shows a group of Jewish refugee children fleeing Belgium in 1940. At the ceremony announcing the reparations, was a man who had lived in Belgium at the start of World War II, who'd lost eight brothers and a sister during the war. He said that the Nazis took three years of his life, adding, "no money can pay for that."
Is Belgium's reparations plan admirable? Or is there no amount of money that can ease any portion of the pain?