March 21st, 2009

Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe to receive higher payments

Frankfurt/Berlin – Beginning in January 2010, Jewish Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe will receive increased payments from Germany . In its negotiations with the German government, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Jewish Claims Conference, JCC) secured an agreement that all recipients of payments from the Central and Eastern European Fund will receive €240 per month. This agreement affects 13,000 Holocaust survivors in 22 countries, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In addition, the JCC was able to reach an agreement with the German government concerning victims of Nazism whose applications to the Claims Conference's Hardship Fund had been rejected. The Hardship Fund was established in 1980 for the purpose of providing one-time payments to Jewish Nazi victims who immigrated from Eastern Europe after the filing deadline of the German Federal Indemnification Law. This regulation did not apply to Nazi victims residing in the former Soviet bloc countries. Up to now, a second application was not permitted even when applicant's circumstances (age, state of health) changed or when new evidence was available. Now it is possible to file a second application.

The German government's decision affects thousands of applicants all over the world, especially in Israel , North America, and Germany . "Numerous needy survivors will receive these payments that are an acknowledgement of their suffering," said Georg Heuberger, representative of the Claims Conference in Germany , in a press release. The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany , Charlotte Knobloch, welcomed the agreement which, she said, corrects a "long-standing injustice". "This agreement affects thousands of Jewish Nazi victims from Eastern Europe most of whom live in Israel , North America, but also in Germany . It is a significant breakthrough for the Claims Conference. The fact that this agreement could be secured in times of global financial crisis is truly remarkable," said Charlotte Knobloch. (21.03.2009)