‘COULD YOU NOT OBTAIN EVIDENCE FROM EYE-WITNESSES?’
MORRIS Silverberg, a superintendent at a Jewish cemetery in Essex, submitted an application on behalf of his deceased brother Abraham, a British citizen who had been living in Poland with his family at the start of the war.
Mr Silverberg provided witness statements from a family friend who claimed to have last seen Abraham and his family in the village of Zółkiewka in Poland, before their removal to a local concentration camp. They were never seen again but Foreign Office officials were reluctant to grant Mr Silverberg compensation without further evidence to support his story.
Officials said his statements were “vague in the extreme”. In December 1965 they wrote: “Without more precise evidence, it will not be possible to register your application. Although it may be very difficult at this late stage, could you not obtain supporting evidence from eye-witnesses or, since it was a ‘local’ camp, you may find a witness who was an inmate in the same camp and who may have seen your brother there?”
Mr Silverberg responded: “It is a wellestablished fact there were no survivors from any camp in that part of Poland; this itself is evidence for my brother’s death there.”
However, with no further evidence supplied, the claims department declared Mr Silverberg’s application void and he did not receive any compensation for his brother’s death.