New deal for eligible Holocaust survivors

December 28, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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Following negotiations between the Claims Conference and the German government, the Hardship Fund has experienced changes rersluting in  thousand of Jewish Holocaust victims around the world becoming eligible to receive one time payments.The Chairman of the Claims Conference, Julius Berman, has written to Sydney-based director Robert Goot outlining the results of the negotiations.

Julius Berman

He wrote: “These developments are in addition to those we recently announced concerning our pension programs. The announcements are being made separately in order that details of implementation could be finalized. I wish we were in a position to keep announcing major liberalizations every few weeks. Any further liberalization may only come after a further round of negotiations, which would be scheduled for next summer.

The work of the negotiating committee has been outstanding and I once again would like to express appreciation to Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat.  His reputation and many accomplishments are well known but these results speak for themselves.  We, the survivor community, and the Jewish community are blessed to have Stu volunteering so much of his time and abilities. Stu is always the first to talk about the importance of the delegation that joined him and so let me join with him in thanking them: Rabbi Andrew Baker, Uri Chanoch, Ben Helfgott, Saul Kagan, Amb. Reuven Merhav, Greg Schneider, and Marian Turski. I would particularly like to acknowledge Roman Kent for his efforts which have been vital to our success. Finally, the staff work has been crucial to obtaining these results and our deep appreciation goes to Greg Schneider as well his team of Karen Heilig, Christiane Reeh and Konrad Matschke.

The three liberalizations are:

Flight from Non-Occupied Areas

Hardship Fund payments of €2,556 will now be made to certain Jews who fled ahead of the advancing Nazi army from some areas of the Soviet Union that were not subsequently occupied by the Nazis, provided they meet the program’s other eligibility criteria.

Applicants may now be eligible for a payment from the Hardship Fund if they fled between June 22, 1941 and January 27, 1944 from areas of the Soviet Union that were generally up to 100 kilometers from the most easterly advance of the German army (Wehrmacht ) but were not later occupied by the Nazis.
Those eligible will include Jews who fled from Moscow and Stalingrad. Eligible victims will also include those who fled from Leningrad after June 22, 1941 but before the siege of that city commenced in September 1941.

This agreement will lead to payments to Jewish victims of Nazism from the former Soviet Union now living in Israel, the United States, Germany and other Western countries. It is the first time that the experiences of these Jews who fled for their lives been recognized by Germany. These payments are not currently available to Nazi victims living in former Soviet bloc countries.

Jews who fled ahead of the advancing Nazis in order not to be murdered were nevertheless victimized beyond imagination. This payment can never bring back what was lost, but it is an acknowledgement of what they endured during the war.

Nazi occupation in the Soviet Union was immediately followed by the advent of Einsatzgruppen, mobile German 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. Gas vans were also used to kill Jews in these areas.

Jews from areas such as Moscow that lay in the path of the advancing German military fled eastward. The Claims Conference has long contended that these Jews, who suffered great deprivation, should be recognized as victims of Nazi persecution, as they had every reason to believe that they would suffer the same fate as Jews who lived in communities overtaken by the Nazis.

Western Persecutees

As of January 1, 2012, Hardship Fund payments may be made to eligible applicants who were citizens of certain Western European countries at the time of Nazi persecution and also at the time of that country’s Global Agreement with Germany, who have not received any previous payment from a German source which include payments under the Global Agreements. “Western Persecutees” who think they may be eligible and have not already applied to the Hardship Fund should file an application. To receive a payment, applicants must also meet the other criteria of the Hardship Fund.


As was previously reported, the Claims Conference and the German government are reviewing the issue of child survivors. In addition to the liberalizations to the Article 2 and Central and Eastern European pension Funds which were announced recently, the German government has agreed to a new fund for child survivors who were orphaned due to Nazi persecution and have never received any German government indemnification:

As of January 1, 2012, eligible for a one-time payment of €1,900 may be those living in former Soviet bloc countries who were born 1928 or later and were orphaned due to Nazi persecution (both parents were killed due to persecution). To be eligible, applicants may not have received any previous compensation from a German source and must meet the same criteria as that of the Hardship Fund.

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3 Responses to “New deal for eligible Holocaust survivors”
  1. Steven Stewart says:

    Thank you Germany!! at a time like this with all the Financial woes that are going on at a time like this that is very thoughtful ! however far too many charities are basically fronts for other things which is tragic.
    Hope the Jews get this money despite all the demonic forces/tricks that will try to divert this money away from them.
    To any one reading this message the one true religion starts with the 7th day observance of the SABBATH yes if you wanted to get through all the smoke and mirrors of 28,000 religious ideas on the Blue Planet about what GOD likes or requires of us you could start there!! Mind you if you read your History the Catholics originally tried to keep observance of the 7th day rest and couldn’t the opposition was too much for them so they backed down and decided to try the Sunday Observance instead.

    I found the Orthodox Jews to make a lot of sense to me as a person who grew up in 2 Christian Families…………….many of the jews have scriptural translations not found in Christianity anywhere!!

    Most people don’t realize that the Bible is basically a whole lot of JEWISH books

  2. matthew tenzer says:

    This is just publicity for an organization who has allowed thousands of survivors all over the world to live under the poverty level for years and spent money on programs it considers more important than mere old human beings, like buildings and travel…. until it got caught with its pants down after it has allowed a fraud of $50 million and counting to happen under its watch. So this pittance and others like it, which are more publicity stunts than any kind of real fix for people who need home care, food, rent and heating money, and it is appalling that the Jewish media uses these press releases as if they were news, no questions asked. How MANY thousands of survivors, and where are they? And isn’t the “hardship fund” a discretionary fund that has been infused with millions from sold properties, so why only a one time payment which is given by the Germans and not payments based on need from the monies that are there. After all, most survivors are now in their 90’s what is the Claims Conference waiting for? For them all to die so that the money can be spent “honoring” them? Why should the head of a Jewish non profit organization whose purpose is to help survivors earn a half a million dollars a year while survivors don’t even have enough to eat?

    • Lynne Newington says:

      Please tell me that this is an exaggeration.
      I cannot believe Jews would be allowing this to happen, survivors with not enough to eat.
      Matthew needs to give some evidence of his statement, don’t you realize what fodder you are giving the non-Jewish community.

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