Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

German Government Grants $5.8 Million to Group to Build Jewish Life in Europe

August 17, 1993
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The government of Germany has awarded the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture a grant of 10 million deutsche mark ($5.8 million) to help in the foundation’s efforts to rebuild Jewish life in Europe.

At a recent meeting here, Erhard Holtermann, Germany’s consul general in New York, presented a check for half the amount to Jack Spitzer, chairman of the foundation’s executive committee. The remaining amount will be paid next year.

This donation “clearly demonstrates that the Federal Republic of Germany and the German people are determined to respect their historical liabilities and to give priority to further cooperation with the Jewish community,” Holtermann said in presenting the grant.

The foundation was established in 1965 with $10 million in reparation payments from what was then the West German government. West Germany gave the foundation an additional $10 million a year or so later.

The foundation has helped to support a network of Jewish cultural institutions designed to bring about the rebirth of Judaism in Europe and elsewhere.

It has also launched programs to train scholars, educators and communal workers to help replace those who perished during the Holocaust.

This is the first gift from the German government since the 1960s. It resulted from a meeting last summer involving Jerry Hochbaum, executive vice president of the foundation, Lord Immanuel Jakobovits of England, president of the group, and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

At the meeting, Hochbaum said, the two foundation leaders discussed with Kohl the organization’s 25-year history of putting together the shattered pieces of Jewish culture in Europe.

Subsequently, Kohl recommended that the German Parliament present the foundation with the gift of 10 million deutsche mark.

Since funds are allocated annually, the grant has not yet been budgeted to specific foundation projects.

The gift will most likely be used to continue scholarship and fellowship programs sponsored by the foundation.

Recommended from JTA