A Holocaust survivor shows his tattoo.
(photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)
Following negotiations between the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and the German government, Julius Berman, president of the Claims Conference, announced an unprecedented increase in funding for social welfare services for Holocaust survivors, bringing the total global allocations for 2019 to $564 million.
The Tuesday announcement was made at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, after the German delegation met with the Claims Conference negotiating delegation and heard firsthand testimony from survivors about the need for funding increases.
“The significant increase for social welfare services secured by our negotiating team will lead to more home care, food support, medicine and transportation services for Jewish Holocaust survivors around the world,” said Berman.
In addition to the funding increase for social welfare services, negotiations this year also increased monthly pension payments to some 55,000 Holocaust survivors by 53.6% over the next three years, from $411 to $633. The first increase, to $485, will take place on January 1, 2019. Another outcome of the negotiations was the lowering of criteria for the Child Survivor Fund payments; the length of time child survivors need to have been in hiding or living under false identity was reduced from six months to four months.
The Claims Conference currently funds in-home care for approximately 76,200 needy and frail survivors around the world so that they are able to remain in their own homes. The organization also assists over 62,000 survivors with other services, including food, medicine, transportation to doctors, and programs to alleviate social isolation.
The Claims Conference is a nonprofit organization that secures monetary and material compensation for Holocaust survivors around the world and has offices in New York, Tel Aviv and Frankfurt.
Since its founding in 1951, the Claims Conference has negotiated for and disburses funds to individuals and organizations on behalf of Jews whose property was stolen during the Holocaust.
To date, the German government has paid more than $70 billion in indemnification to individuals for suffering and losses resulting from the Holocaust.
In 2018, the Claims Conference will distribute approximately $400m. in direct compensation to over 80,000 survivors in 83 countries and will allocate approximately $500m. in grants to over 200 social service agencies worldwide that provide vital services for Holocaust survivors such as home care, food and medicine.