Gad Beck and his sister as children 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Judith Kessler)
Germany recognizes and will provide compensation to Holocaust survivors who were
children during the war, for their “lost childhood,” the Center of Organizations
of Holocaust Survivors in Israel announced this week.
The move was the
result of negotiations recently held in Jerusalem between representatives of the
Claims Conference as well as heads of NGOs dedicated to survivors and a senior
delegation from the German Finance Ministry.
The survivors concerned
include those born between January 1928 and May 1945, for whom the first period
of their lives would have been under the Nazis or allies of the Nazi
They lived in camps, ghettos, in hiding or constantly on the
“This is certainly a significant step forward,” said Colette Avital,
chairwoman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, in a
statement. “I hope that the German government will do historical justice on this
issue and will work to develop a rapid and adequate compensation to those
children, who today are grandparents, and ensure that they will receive what
they deserve in order to live the rest of their lives in
According to the center, children of the Holocaust were
deprived of a particularly important period of their lives in which they build
their personalities and must be loved, protected and feel safe in their
The center wrote that “lifelong irreparable damage
on the psychological and social level” was made to these survivors, who were
also hurt in the field of education and culture and were exposed to severe
trauma leading to disorders such as anxiety, insomnia or mental
The center also stressed that some also endured physical
trauma as they suffered from diseases related to the conditions in which they
lived at the time.