After a six year struggle, Lotte Brachfeld, 79, has finally been recognized by the State of Israel as a Holocaust survivor, Channel 2 reported Thursday.
Brachfeld, who was three-years-old when World War II broke out, lived in the Warsaw Ghetto until her parents escaped to the Soviet Union. She applied to the Finance Ministry in 2009 for survivor status and compensation, but was denied.
The German government, meanwhile, reviewed a similar request from Brachfeld and granted her a one-time payment of 2,000 euros for her time in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust.
Brachfeld then turned to the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, with the official German document in hand, to review her application again and grant her the allowance designated for survivors.
The Finance Ministry's representative, however, argued that her application should be rejected outright – for obsolescence as well as the fact that Brachfeld's name was not on the Historical Institute's list of Jews in Warsaw.
After issuing an appeal, in which she provided moving testimony, Brachfeld convinced the judge and the Finance Ministry to finally granted her Holocaust survivor status and compensation.
"The process to receiving this allowance was unbearble, it was a terrible humiliation," Brachfeld told Channel 2. "They put me on the defendant's bench, an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor who lost 100 family members during World War II."
"After I finished my story," Brachfeld explained, "half of the courtroom burst into tears. After all the evidence, they began to treat me a little differently, less like a defendant, and more like a survivor."