Nine years ago, the German parliament passed a law to pay those who worked for them in the ghettos social security benefits. But like the majority of those still alive who applied, my father repeatedly was denied. Rather than give up, he asked for a trial.
And so my brother and I accompanied my dad, now 75, as he traveled to Germany to face his past.
This is a story about a crime that took almost seven decades to rectify in court. In the process, Menachem Limor became the first American to travel overseas to testify to receive his promised benefits. He won, a result that astounded his attorney and paved the way for others to seek similar amends.
Investigative reporter Hagit Limor admitted the personal nature of the story was its most challenging aspect: “This is the story of my father and the grandparents and family I never got to meet. It represents my first attempt to chronicle a piece of personal history in a journalistic setting.”
It was a challenge for her colleagues as well. Photojournalist/editor Anthony Mirones said, “it was tough (emotionally) for me to work on a story that affected my colleague and friend. Because it was her father going through this real-life trial, I wanted it to be … just right.”
Judges said: “Ingenuity and persistence were evident throughout this entry in the simplicity of its storytelling and the fluidity of the writing, editing, and the use of visual images.”
Hagit Limor now knows how her father survived the Holocaust: “The perseverance he displayed in fighting this battle to win what the German government said it owed proved why optimism in the face of evil and indifference translates into survival and victory.”
News director Bob Morford concurred: “It affected me deeply to see this story told, making it clear that despite the worst this world has to offer, horror can be survived and overcome.”
Menachem Limor remarked upon his victory: “I am fighting for justice, always.”