Claims Conference, a nonprofit organization that secures material compensation for Holocaust survivors around the world, announced on Thursday, June 15, 2023, that Germany has agreed to extend another $1.4 billion (1.29 billion euros) overall for Holocaust survivors around the world for next year.
The compensation, which was negotiated with Germany’s finance ministry, contains $888.9 million for the care and support of elderly and vulnerable Holocaust survivors in their homes.
Additionally, increments of $175 million in symbolic payments under the Hardship Fund Supplemental program have been made, which will benefit more than 128,000 Holocaust survivors worldwide.
The Hardship Fund Supplemental payment was initially intended to be a one-time payment, negotiated during the COVID-19 lockdowns and eventually resulted in three supplemental payments for eligible Holocaust survivors.
This year, Germany again agreed to extend the hardship payment, which was set to end 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.
According to Claims Conference, the survivors receiving these payments largely are Russian Jews who were not in camps or ghettos, and are not eligible for pension programs. As children they fled the so-called Einsatzgruppen; Nazi mobile killing units charged with murdering entire Jewish communities.
More than 1 million Jews were killed by these units, which operated largely by shooting hundreds and thousands of Jews at a time and burying them in mass pits.
Claims conference noted in a statement, “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.”
“By expanding payments to these survivors, the German government is acknowledging that this suffering is still being felt deeply, both emotionally and financially. While symbolic, these payments provide financial relief for many aging Jewish Holocaust survivors living around the world.”Claims Conference
Since 1952, the German government has paid more than $90 billion to individuals for suffering and losses resulting from persecution by the Nazis.
Compensation Of Holocaust Survivors More Urgent Than Ever
Stuart Eizenstat, the special negotiator for the Claims Conference negotiations delegation, declared, “It has been nearly 80 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, and the need to negotiate for survivor care and compensation is more urgent than ever.”
“Every negotiation is a near-last opportunity to ensure survivors of the Holocaust are receiving some measure of justice and a chance at the dignity that was taken from them in their youth. It will never be enough until the last survivor has taken their last breath.”Stuart Eizenstat
Additionally, Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of Claims Conference, noted that as this last generation of Holocaust survivors age and their needs increase, “these negotiations become more and more critical” every year.
“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.”Greg Schneider
All living Holocaust survivors are old, and many suffer from numerous medical issues because they were deprived of proper nutrition when they were young. World War II ended nearly eight decades ago.
As the number of survivors dwindles, the Claims Conference also negotiated continuing funding for Holocaust education, which has been extended for two more years and increased each year by $3.3 million.
The newly negotiated funding amounts are approximately $41.6 million for 2026 and $45 million for 2027.