Jewish Communities Worldwide

Germany will provide $1.4 billion to Holocaust survivors globally in 2024

Stuart Eizenstat, JPPI’s Co-Chair and the lead reparations negotiator since 2009: “I am inspired that the German government and its people continue to feel a deep responsibility to provide additional care to Holocaust survivors.”

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), announced the outcomes of their negotiations with the German Federal Ministry of Finance on behalf of Holocaust survivors living globally resulting in approximately $1.4 billion in direct compensation and social welfare services for survivors. This is impacting more than 128,000 Holocaust survivors globally.

The compensation was negotiated with Germany’s finance ministry and includes $888.9 million to provide home care and supportive services for frail and vulnerable Holocaust survivors. Additionally, increases of $175 million to symbolic payments of the Hardship Fund Supplemental program have been achieved, impacting more than 128,000 Holocaust survivors globally, according to the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference.

The Hardship Fund Supplemental payment was originally established to be a one-time payment, negotiated during the COVID-19 lockdowns and eventually resulted in three supplemental payments for eligible Holocaust survivors. This year, Germany again agreed to extend the hardship payment, which was set to end in December 2023, through 2027.

The survivors receiving these payments largely are Russian Jews who weren’t in camps or ghettos, and aren’t eligible for pension programs, the Claims Conference said. As children they fled the so-called Einsatzgruppen — Nazi mobile killing units charged with murdering entire Jewish communities. More than 1 million Jews were killed by these units, which operated largely by shooting hundreds and thousands of Jews at a time and burying them in mass pits.

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Special Negotiator for the Claims Conference Negotiations Delegation, said: “I am inspired that, as shown by the extraordinary results we have achieved this year, so many decades after the end of World War II, far from waning, the German government and its people continue to feel a deep responsibility to provide additional care to Holocaust survivors. It has been nearly 80 years since the liberation of Auschwitz and the need to negotiate for survivor care and compensation is more urgent than ever.”

Stuart Eizenstat, a negotiator for the Claims Conference, negotiates with German government officials in Berlin. Courtesy of the Claims Conference.

Eizenstat explains that “Every negotiation is a near-last opportunity to ensure survivors of the Holocaust are receiving some measure of justice and a chance at the dignity that was taken from them in their youth. It will never be enough until the last survivor has taken their last breath.”

Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference said, “Every year these negotiations become more and more critical as this last generation of Holocaust survivors age and their needs increase. Being able to ensure direct payments to survivors in addition to the expansions to the social welfare services we are able to fund is essential in making sure every Holocaust survivor is taken care of for as long as it is required, addressing each individual need.”