Germany has committed to providing an additional $1.4 billion (1.29 billion euros) in total for Holocaust survivors worldwide for the upcoming year, according to the body that handles claims on behalf of Jews who suffered under the Nazis.
The settlement, which was negotiated with Germany’s finance minister, contains $888.9 million for the care and assistance of elderly and weak Holocaust survivors in their homes.
According to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also known as the Claims Conference, based in New York, increases of $175 million to symbolic payments of the Hardship Fund Supplemental Program have also been made, affecting more than 128,000 Holocaust survivors globally.
According to Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, “these negotiations become more and more critical every year as this last generation of Holocaust survivors ages and their needs increase.”
In order to ensure that every Holocaust survivor is cared for for as long as is necessary and that each particular need is met, Schneider continued, “it is essential to be able to ensure direct payments to survivors in addition to the expansions to the social welfare services.”
When the COVID-19 lockdowns began, the Hardship Fund extra payment was initially intended to be a one-time payment.
However, after negotiations, three extra payments were made to qualified Holocaust survivors. Germany once again consented this year to extending the hardship payment, which was originally scheduled to cease in December 2023, through 2027.
The price was established at around $1,370 per person for each of the extra years: $1,425 for 2025, $1,480 for 2026, and $1,534 for 2027.
According to the Claims Conference, the majority of the survivors getting these payouts are Russian Jews who weren’t interned in camps or ghettos and are therefore ineligible for pension plans.
They escaped the so-called Einsatzgruppen as youngsters, mobile Nazi execution squads tasked with annihilating whole Jewish settlements.
These units, which primarily functioned by murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews at a time and mass-burialing them in pits, killed more than one million Jews.
The loss of time, family, property, and life cannot be made up for by those who managed to evacuate and live; they are among the poorest in the community of survivors, the organization claimed.
The organization stated in a statement that by increasing payments to these survivors, the German government “is acknowledging that this suffering is still being felt deeply, both emotionally and financially.”
Even if they are symbolic, these contributions help elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors who live all over the world.
Since the conclusion of World War II was over eight decades ago, all Holocaust survivors who are still alive are old, and many of them have a number of medical conditions since they were malnourished as children.
The Claims Conference also secured continuous financing for Holocaust education, which has been extended for two more years and boosted annually by $3.3 million as the number of survivors declines.
For 2026 and 2027, the newly agreed-upon financing amounts are around $41.6 million and $45 million, respectively.
Since 1952, the German government has spent more than $90 billion compensating people for their losses and suffering as a result of Nazi persecution.
More than 200,000 Holocaust survivors will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the Claims Conference in 2023, and more than 300 social service organizations will receive more than $750 million in grants to help them with essential services like home care, food, and medicine.
Stuart Eizenstat, the special negotiator for the Claims Conference talks delegation, stated that since Auschwitz was freed over 80 years ago, it is more important than ever to fight for survivor care and compensation.
Every discussion is an almost final chance to guarantee that Holocaust survivors receive some kind of justice and a shot at regaining the dignity that was stripped from them when they were young.
It won’t be sufficient until the last survivor has exhaled, he said.