Germany increases allocations to Holocaust survivors


(JTA) — The German government will increase funds given to Holocaust survivors by 15 percent.

The new deal reached Tuesday between Germany and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, known as the Claims Conference, means that the German government’s contribution to homecare funding for Holocaust survivors around the world will rise from $156 million in 2011 to about $180 million in 2012. The allocations will rise to nearly $200 million by 2014.

“With restitution-related sources of funding on the decline, this long-term agreement obtained by the Claims Conference is vital to addressing the growing social welfare needs of aging Holocaust survivors,” said Claims Conference Chairman Julius Berman. “It will provide survivors and the agencies that care for them the certainty that funding will be available to meet the anticipated growing demand over the next few years.”

The Claims Conference will allocate the German government money to agencies around the world that provide in-home nursing and vital help with basic activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, bathing and other services that greatly ease the lives of elderly Holocaust victims and enable them to remain living in their own homes.

“Once again, the German government has recognized its historic responsibility to help care for Jewish Holocaust victims in their final years,” said Stuart Eizenstat, the Claims Conference’s special negotiator. “Over the decades, the government has demonstrated its commitment to alleviating the plight of elderly victims who need the care that these funds will provide.”

Since 2004, the Claims Conference has negotiated with the German government for homecare funding, obtaining increased amounts each year.

The conference also negotiated an increase in pension payments to survivors. While previously a minimum of 18 months incarceration in a Nazi-era ghetto was the criteria for receiving payments, the German government will now review cases on an individual basis to determine if those who spent less time in the ghetto are also eligible for funding based on hardship and persecution.

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