More Holocaust survivors to receive pension payments from Germany

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More Holocaust survivors to receive pension payments from Germany

Claims Conference says the £320 monthly sum was symbolic but ‘provides recognition and restores a piece of dignity’

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Survivors and their relatives walk through the gates of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp to attend the 75th anniversary of its liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Survivors and their relatives walk through the gates of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp in January 2020 (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Thousands of Holocaust survivors including four in Britain are to receive pension payments for the first time as part a new package negotiated with the German government.

The monthly payments will be made to survivors of the Leningrad Siege, those who were in hiding in France, and those who survived persecution in Romania.

The Claims Conference, which represents Jews in negotiating compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution, said around 6,500 survivors will receive pensions for the first time.

Officials said they had identified four recipients in the UK and would continue an outreach programme in the hope of finding others.

Gideon Taylor, the Conference’s president, said the symbolic monthly sum of €375 (£320) helped “provide recognition and restore a piece of the dignity taken from survivors in their youth.”

His deputy Greg Schneider added: “These accomplishments are deeply important symbols of Germany’s recognition of suffering, and for many of these survivors the funds will also relieve crushing poverty which require survivors to choose between food, medicine, or rent.”

Child Survivor Fund payments, a symbolic one-time payment of €2,500 (£2,130) will also be paid to those who meet the persecution criteria and were born 1928 or later.

The Conference said that more Jewish Nazi victims would also be eligible for a hardship fund payment in 2021 and 2022.

Schneider added: “at a time when Holocaust survivors globally are facing insurmountable challenges due to COVID and their fragility, we are proud to be able to offer some hope in that roughly $767 million (£565 million) in compensation programmes will be dispersed to survivors around the world.”

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