Germany to give $720 million to Holocaust survivors globally

The Claims Conference said the funds will be distributed in more than 80 countries, including war-torn Ukraine, where some Holocaust survivors became homeless refugees overnight.

Holocaust survivors renew their wedding vows after 70 years in a ceremony organized by the Claims Conference. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Holocaust survivors renew their wedding vows after 70 years in a ceremony organized by the Claims Conference.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

The organization that facilitates claims on behalf of Jews who suffered under the Nazis said Wednesday that Germany has agreed to extend another $720 million (647 million euros) to provide home care and supportive services for vulnerable Holocaust survivors, some of whom became homeless refugees overnight in war-torn Ukraine following Russia's invasion

The New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also known as the Claims Conference, said the funds will be distributed to more than 300 social welfare organizations in more than 80 countries.

In recent years, during negotiations with the German government, the Claims Conference pressed the dire need to increase home care funding for Holocaust survivors both in the United States and globally.

 HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR Artemis Miron shows her Auschwitz death camp number tattooed on her arm at her home in Kfar Saba in 2020. (credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS) HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR Artemis Miron shows her Auschwitz death camp number tattooed on her arm at her home in Kfar Saba in 2020. (credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS)

The new allocations are distributed to social welfare organizations in regions where significant numbers of survivors live, to ensure vital services, such as home care, medical care, emergency assistance and food are available for Holocaust survivors in those regions. 

These considerable funds constitute one of the largest allocations from any grant-making organization in the world in one year and the largest amount ever allocated for the Claims Conference in a single year. In 2021, the organization distributed $653 million USD in grants to over 300 social service agencies worldwide, and this year the conference estimates that the funds, through the grants and partner organizations, will reach approximately 120,000 survivors.

More than 75 years after the Holocaust ended, in the United States, survivors continue to suffer, with 40% of the 36,000 survivors in the New York area living in or near poverty.

President of the Claims Conference Gideon Taylor said, “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, and as they also continue to face the ongoing uncertainty and threat of COVID-19. We know these funds provide vital support during these difficult times.”