The goneff (a Jewish thief, in yiddish) Abraham Hirschensohn had attracted my attention already a decade ago. The German Government had approved additional compensation to Auschwitz survivors, and my mother who is one of them was expecting the money which was not coming. A year after the Germans had transferred the money, no survivor had seen a cent. Trying to help my mother, I was forced by the circumstances to have a look from short distance about how the large German payments were negotiated, managed, distributed, in order to tranquillize my dear Mother. I discovered that the German money was managed by a special committee headed by someone called Hirschensohn, an unknown askan (faceless party hack), with an office in the Knesset in Jerusalem. I called him several times and he never answered nor got any reaction from his office. I sent him registered letters asking what is happening to money's of the Holocaust survivors and even went to talk with his secretaries. I was so scandalized by the unimaginable stealing of the money that I said to one of the eldest secretaries, that I will make my 80 y.o. mother to demonstrate in front of his office with a sign "Thief". What would the police do to an old Holocaust survivor? She said it may be helpful. I was very angry but later I gave up the idea as it would have been inhumane to take these very old, very sick ladies to demonstrate in the street. Later my mother received about 1,000 dollars. Since only about 30,000 Jews survived Auschwitz extermination camp (from one to two million inmates) and the pointless death marches in Germany, the total living potential recipients in Israel must have been about three thousand, indicating that the total amount of money distributed to the old and the very sickly survivors must have been about 3,000,000 dollars, and the rest, about 3 to 5 billion, distributed among the inside lawyers and activists who had dealt with the negotiations (and were paid at the going rate for New York lawyers which many were. I am for paying well successful lawyers). But most of the money had simply been stolen. I wrote to the German embassy for details and received a pedantic answer (OK, sorry, no offense intended, a correct German bureaucratic answer) and I felt if they were saying: Sir, we are innocent, we paid and will pay, we are not a position to interfere in the Jew's monkey business. Then I wrote a very ugly letter to Hirschensohn calling him a thief, a shameless thief, but never received any answer. With his criminal looks, I would be very quiet too. Since the next step had to be take my Mother to the street and fight, which I was not ready to do, i let the issue to fade away.
So it was a surprise to hear that Abraham Hirschenshon had been designated Minister of Finance two years ago. I presumed he had stolen the survivors money in order to finance party activities, and now he was being rewarded. I did not imagine him to be personally corrupt, even if the man actually looked and talked like a classic gonev from the schtetl. He had a crooked look, he looked like a crook.
Two months ago his stealing from the Histadrut came into the light and he had to resign. 300,000 US dollars were found in his son's bank account and he could not explain anything. The actions that leaked from the police investigation show that the man was very careless, he took money from public accounts and put it in his son and daughter's accounts. He had been doing so for so long that thought no one is looking or that no one was crazy enough to sacrifice his job to expose him. He was almost right.
The whistleblower at the National Workers Organization (Histadrut HaOvdim HaLeumit) who exposed former Minister of Finance Abraham Hirchson has spoken publicly for the first since being fired earlier this week. Maayan Agam said, "It's a system where if you open your mouth you're out. The policy was that you're not supposed to know anything, and you don't ask any questions." Agam said that there had been rumors that people were being followed and that their phones were tapped. "They scrimped on everything, but they had luxury cars and their offices refurbished every Monday and Thursday," she added. "I realized that there was financial activity going on beneath the surface. Money was disappearing and we weren't supposed to ask where it went."
A spokesperson for the National Workers Organization said, "The National Workers Organizations rejects the absurd suggestion that the employee was fired because of her revelations about corruption where she worked. Not only did she prove a failure professionally on many occasions, but she also repeatedly breached basic disciplinary rules."