Holocaust Reparations: Germany to Pay 772 Million Euros to Survivors

German Finance Ministry officials lay a wreath at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, as Claims Conference negotiators look on. Zoom
AP/ Jewish Claims Conference

German Finance Ministry officials lay a wreath at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, as Claims Conference negotiators look on.

The German government has committed to pay nearly 800 million euros for the care of elderly Holocaust survivors as a result of negotiations in Israel between Berlin and a fund for Jewish victims of Nazi aggression. Nearly 60,000 people will benefit from the aid money.

The German government has agreed to pay €772 million ($1 billion) for the homecare of Holocaust survivors throughout the world. The decision was reached by the German Finance Ministry together with the Claims Conference, a Jewish fund for victims of Nazi aggression, after negotiations in Jerusalem concluded on Tuesday.

The money, which will be given in stages between 2014 and 2017, will provide some 56,000 Holocaust survivors -- about a third of whom reside in Israel -- with home nursing care, medication and social services, said the Claims Conference in a statement. The funds are especially important now, it added, because the survivors who are still living are increasingly elderly and have an ever-greater need for such services.

"We are seeing Germany's continued commitment to fulfill its historic obligation to Nazi victims," said Stuart Eizenstat, a former United States ambassador who acted as chief negotiator for the Claims Conference. "This ensures that Holocaust survivors, now in their final years, can be confident that we are endeavoring to help them live in dignity, after their early life was filled with indescribable tragedy and trauma. This is all the more impressive since it comes at a time of budget austerity in Germany."

'Open' Ghetto Survivors Now Eligible

The agreement also includes a notable shift regarding compensation for survivors of Nazi ghettos. Until now, regulations governing Claims Conference pension programs for ghetto survivors stipulated that only those who were in "closed" ghettos -- in other words, those surrounded by a wall -- were eligible for funds. Yet many ghettos, such as those in Czernowitz, Romania, and many throughout Bulgaria, were not walled in even though they were in many ways similar to closed ghettos. Jews lived under curfew, were deprived of jobs, were subject to persecution, were forced to wear yellow stars and lived in constant fear of deportation.

At the negotiations between German Finance Ministry and Claims Conference representatives, it was decided that two pension programs should be expanded to include Jews who lived in open ghettos under such conditions. The decision, which required the German government to commit an extra €7 million to €11 million, should bring compensation to an additional 2,000 to 3,000 survivors.

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1. This has to stop!
aldegod 05/30/2013
And ... Germany is milked, milked and milked again and again and again … After 70 years of this un-blissful and devastating WWII – it has to pay, to pay and to pay and to pay … for the victims of the “III Reich”. When is this scenario - Germany being “the Pay-Master of the World” - going to end? In comparison with Japan: They DID NOT and they DO NOT pay anything to the victims in Korea and China, Burma, etc. What about me? I am a victim too! I am a fallen victim of Tito's aggression towards the German people in Yugoslavia after WWII. By just having a German name, my father was imprisoned and my parents lost literally everything and had to start all over again in 1958 in West Germany - after being beaten and humiliated for 13 years. When I am going to get paid by the successors of the “Yugoslavian Government” for the loss of our farm, our land, our forest, our house, furniture, dishes and silverware, and my father’s agricultural machinery, his mill, his car, etc.? It was stolen from us by the communist regime! We haven’t seen one cent - so far! I desperately need a Jewish attorney to help me out here!
2. Response
jraul91 05/30/2013
Aldegod, I totally agree with you because it is time that Germany with all due respect to this newspaper and to all of Germany stop trying to ingratiate with the Israelis. If Germany did not compensate the victims of the Nazis and the victims did not ask for a compensation at the end of the war that is their problem. The Jews for example, were given their own country. I think that that is sufficient compensation. Other countries have never compensated their victims as you point out.
3. You should not be narrow minded
kandrzejw 06/02/2013
---Quote (Originally by jraul91)--- Other countries have never compensated their victims as you point out. ---End Quote--- There is nothing bad in paying your own bills for your victims sufferings. I find it strange that something what is a sort of human and just action arouses such doubts and narrow minded comments. These time the whole amount of money will go not for upgrading Jewish army as before but for the needs of disabled old people, who only by a miraculous coincidence in completely hopeless situation survived. I only wished Russian people and their government thought the same way and took similar decision to yours German government and lowered at least our gas bill to a reasonable amount for stabbing at our back the knife in 1939, partitioning Poland and ethnic cleansing of Poles on the territory of today’s Belarus and Ukraine in the years 1939-1941 and 1944-47. Instead Russian at least by a fatal neglect leading to the catastrophe in the year 2010 of our governmental plane near Katyń forest, where our soldiers and social elite was killed by NKWD showed us once again total disregard. If some your people wants the same “Russian” attitude to victims to be adopted by the German government I only find it deplorable.
4. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, Ireland,... have to pay, German does not?!?
euroisnotonlygerman 06/04/2013
Germany only wants to pay what they want, is it? Pay now! ---Quote (Originally by jraul91)--- Aldegod, I totally agree with you because it is time that Germany with all due respect to this newspaper and to all of Germany stop trying to ingratiate with the Israelis. If Germany did not compensate the victims of the Nazis and the victims did not ask for a compensation at the end of the war that is their problem. The Jews for example, were given their own country. I think that that is sufficient compensation. Other countries have never compensated their victims as you point out. ---End Quote---
5. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus, Ireland,... have to pay, German does not?!?
euroisnotonlygerman 06/04/2013
But you only want to pay what you want? Germany should pay and right now! ---Quote (Originally by aldegod)--- And ... Germany is milked, milked and milked again and again and again … After 70 years of this un-blissful and devastating WWII – it has to pay, to pay and to pay and to pay … for the victims of the “III Reich”. When is this scenario - Germany being “the Pay-Master of the World” - going to end? In comparison with Japan: They DID NOT and they DO NOT pay anything to the victims in Korea and China, Burma, etc. What about me? I am a victim too! I am a fallen victim of Tito's aggression towards the German people in Yugoslavia after WWII. By just having a German name, my father was imprisoned and my parents lost literally everything and had to start all over again in 1958 in West Germany - after being beaten and humiliated for 13 years. When I am going to get paid by the successors of the “Yugoslavian Government” for the loss of our farm, our land, our forest, our house, furniture, dishes and silverware, and my father’s agricultural machinery, his mill, his car, etc.? It was stolen from us by the communist regime! We haven’t seen one cent - so far! I desperately need a Jewish attorney to help me out here! ---End Quote---
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