Germany lifts Holocaust help to €800 million
Germany's finance ministry has increased support for Holocaust survivors, saying on Wednesday it would assign nearly €800 million for some 56,000 people worldwide over the next four years.
In a meeting between the government and the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC), the two parties agreed that Germany would change its eligibility criteria for Holocaust survivor payments to include people who were forced to live in eastern European ghettos, Der Spiegel said.
This means that up to 3,000 more people will receive help. A third of these live in Israel, the rest are scattered over 46 countries worldwide. Changing eligibility will cost Germany between €7 million and €11 million more.
Stuart Eizenstat, head of the JCC and former US Ambassador to Germany, praised the negotiations, saying that giving so much money despite tight spending policies was particularly noteworthy. “It ensures that Holocaust survivors can live out their last years in dignity.”
While not enclosed by walls and fenced like in labour camps, people living in ghettos – like in Chernivtsi in Romania – were not allowed to leave and had to wear a Star of David at all time.
Further talks will be held in the autumn of 2014 to discuss whether Jewish people who lived through the Holocaust as children would also be eligible.