| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Germany to extend $1.4 billion to Holocaust survivors across the world in 2024

The organization responsible for managing claims on behalf of Jews who suffered torture during the Nazi era, announced that Germany has agreed to provide an additional monetary support of $1.4 billion in total for Holocaust survivors worldwide, extending through the year 2024.

The compensation was a result of negotiations with Germany’s finance ministry and entails $888.9 million to provide housing care and supportive services for weak and the most vulnerable Holocaust survivors.

“Every year these negotiations become more and more critical as this last generation of Holocaust survivors age and their needs increase,” Greg Schneider, the Claims Conference’s executive vice president told the Associated Press.

Increases of $175 million to symbolic payments of the Hardship Fund Supplemental program have also been achieved, impacting more than 128,000 Holocaust survivors globally, as per the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference.

“Being able to ensure direct payments to survivors in addition to the expansions to the social welfare services is essential in making sure every Holocaust survivor is taken care of for as long as it is required, addressing each individual need,” Schneider added.

The Hardship Fund Supplemental payment was originally set to be a one-time payment, negotiated during the COVID-19 lockdowns and eventually resulted in three supplemental payments for eligible Holocaust survivors.

In 2023, Germany again agreed to offer the hardship payment, which was set to expire in December 2023, through 2027.
The amount for each of the additional years was set at approximately $1,370 per person for 2024, $1,425 for 2025, $1,480 for 2026 and $1,534 for 2027, reported the Associated Press.
The survivors getting these payments largely are Russian Jews who weren’t in camps or ghettos, and aren’t eligible for pension programs, the Claims Conference said.

They fled the so-called Einsatzgruppen — Nazi mobile killing units charged with murdering entire Jewish communities as juveniles. More than 1 million Jews lost their lives in these units, which works largely by shooting hundreds and thousands of Jews at a time and burying them in mass pits.

“For those who were able to flee and survive — they are some of the poorest in the survivor community; the loss of time, family, property and life cannot be made whole,” the group said.

“By expanding payments to these survivors, the German government is acknowledging that this suffering is still being felt deeply, both emotionally and financially,” the group said in a statement. “While symbolic, these payments provide financial relief for many aging Jewish Holocaust survivors living around the world,” it added.

At present, the Holocaust survivors are all elderly and many suffer various medical issues because of the lack of proper nutrition in their growing years.

As the number of survivors plummets, the Claims Conference also negotiated continuing funding for Holocaust education, which has been extended for two more years and puffed up every year by $3.3 million. The newly negotiated funding amounts stand at approximately $41.6 million for 2026 and $45 million for 2027.

  • Wions