Germany to give extra €647 million to support Holocaust survivors

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By AP
In this 2013 photo, Holocaust survivor Joe Chaba holds hands with his wife, Helen Chaba, at their home in Chicago.
In this 2013 photo, Holocaust survivor Joe Chaba holds hands with his wife, Helen Chaba, at their home in Chicago.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File

Germany has agreed to pay another €647 million to provide home care and supportive services to frail and vulnerable Holocaust survivors.

The additional money will be distributed to more than 300 social welfare organisations globally, according to authorities.

The news was announced by the New York-based Claims Conference, an organisation that handles claims on behalf of Jews who suffered under Nazi Germany.

“We are proud to announce this significant allocation at a time when these funds are critical, due to the age, poverty and increasing disability of our waning survivor population,” president Gideon Taylor said on Wednesday.

“We know these funds provide vital support during these difficult times,” he added.

The additional funds constitute the largest amount ever allocated for the Claims Conference for welfare services in a single year, the organisation said in a statement.

It estimates the funds will pay for services for approximately 120,000 impoverished Holocaust survivors.

Since 1952, the German government has paid more than €80 billion to individuals for suffering and losses resulting from persecution by the Nazis.

The Claims Conference last year distributed around €590 million in grants to hundreds of social service agencies worldwide.

The funds were distributed to social welfare organisations in regions where significant numbers of Holocaust survivors live, to ensure vital services, such as home care, medical care, emergency assistance and food are available.

“Survivors will be supported wherever they live, whether war-torn areas or conflict zones and no matter the obstacle,” said Greg Schneider, the Claims Conference’s executive vice-president.

Many Holocaust survivors left World War II with no families, suffering from numerous medical issues, and are still impoverished today.