Senate calls on Germany to do more for aging Holocaust survivors


(JTA) — The U.S. Senate approved a resolution calling on the government of Germany to do more to meet the needs of aging Holocaust survivors.

Sponsored by Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, the resolution that passed Thursday night follows a similar measure in the House meant to ensure “that all Holocaust victims live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years.”

It calls on Germany “to reaffirm its commitment to this goal through a financial commitment to comprehensively address the unique health and welfare needs of vulnerable Holocaust victims, including home care and other medically prescribed needs.”

According to the resolution, there are about 100,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States today, as well as about 500,000 in the rest of the world, and they all have increasing health and welfare needs that require assistance.

“As Holocaust survivors age, their needs only continue to grow,” Nelson said in a statement. “Germany should be doing more to care for them – especially the thousands of victims currently living in poverty – and ensure that they are able to live out their remaining years in dignity and comfort.”

The resolution comes following an exchange of correspondence between members of Congress and the German Finance Ministry last December in which representatives of the German government acknowledged that “recent experience has shown that the care financed by the German government to date is insufficient.” The Germans said that “it is imperative to expand these assistance measures quickly given the advanced age of many of the affected persons.”

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