NEW YORK (Jun. 13)
Daimler-Benz AG, the West German automotive giant that manufactures the Mercedes car, has agreed to make 10 million marks ($5.8 million) available to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
The money will be earmarked for social care programs for elderly Jewish victims of Nazism, with special priority for those used as forced laborers by German companies during World War II, Daimler-Benz among them.
The agreement was announced Monday by Dr. Israel Miller, president of the New York-based Claims Conference. He noted that “the demand for shelter or home care by Jewish victims of Nazi persecution is rapidly increasing as the Holocaust survivors age and experience greater frailty.”
Miller said the funds for such care greatly exceeded the funds available. “The funds provided by Daimler-Benz for these purposes will assist the Claims Conference in helping to respond to these unmet needs,” he added.
The Claims Conference approached Daimler-Benz several years ago to pay reparations to Jewish Nazi victims compelled to do forced labor at its plants. The company refused to make direct payments to individuals, according to Saul Kagan, executive director of the Claims Conference.
But it offered instead to make available funds for grants to Jewish institutions that provide shelter or home care to infirm persecutees.