Jewish Claims Conference Allots $10,000,000 to Eighty Groups

Ten million dollars has been allocated for global relief, rehabilitation, cultural restoration, and educational programs in 1955 in behalf of victims of Nazi persecution throughout the free world, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced here today. The allocation is the second the Conference has made from its share of German reparations payments under terms incorporated in the Bonn-Israel reparations pact signed at Luxemburg in 1952.

In 1954, the Conference assigned $8,705,000 for the world-wide rehabilitation and cultural programs. This year’s allocations were made to more than 80 Jewish organizations operating in 22 countries and will affect some 80,000 former persecutes, the Conference said. The bulk of monies–$7,809,000–will be used for the relief and rehabilitation of indigent, sick or disabled Nazi victims. This includes legal assistance to former persecutes in 13 countries seeking compensation or recovering assets under the West German restitution and indemnification laws. A total of $1,199,267 has been allotted for cultural and educational projects and the salvage of Jewish cultural treasures ravaged by the Nazis.

The funds available for allocation by the Conference this year represent only one-fifth of the amounts asked. More that 400 Jewish organizations all over the world had requested allocations this year totaling $50,000,000, of which $35,000,000 was for relief and rehabilitation projects. Allocations were based primarily on the urgency of need. They were made to established welfare and central communal organizations best qualified by experience to put the funds to the most effective use, the Conference said. The greater part of the relief and rehabilitation program is under the over-all supervision of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

MAJOR PART OF FUNDS TO BE SPENT FOR PROJECTS IN EUROPE

The majority of the relief and rehabilitation funds will be utilized in Europe, particularly in former Nazi-occupied countries where the requirements for individual and communal rehabilitation are most urgent. Projects include the construction of homes for the aged and infirm, institutional repair and maintenance, medical aid, hospitals, health centers, children’s homes, kindergartens and child care. The European countries where allocations were made are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.

Conference funds will also be used in rehabilitation programs that include assistance to Nazi victims in Europe for emigration to overseas lands and for vocational training and rehabilitation loan funds. The sum allocated for cultural and educational projects in 1955 exceeds by nearly $300,000 the $905,000 allotted for these purposes last year. An additional $101,000 was approved providing that the funds become available to the Conference this year.

About 58 percent of the cultural allocation is ear-marked for Jewish education, particularly the acquisition of suitable school buildings and the improvement of existing buildings. An allocation of $182,000 has been assigned to former Central and Eastern European yeshivas which were transplanted after the war to Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and South America. The sum of $135,000 has been granted for program of scholarships and fellowships in the field of Jewish studies, including teacher training, graduate work and independent research.

The purpose of these grants, the Conference said, is to help refugee scholars resume projects interrupted by the war or to embark on new projects. Individual recipients of these awards, in addition to proving their scholastic ability, must be bona-fide victims of persecution. Thirty-six percent of the cultural funds is intended for research and publication projects in Europe, the United States and South America, utilizing the services of refugee scholars. The remaining 6 percent will be devoted to grants for the restoration of Jewish libraries, museums and archives, and the preservation of material relating to Jewish sufferings under the Nazis.

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