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article imageDamage payments for Holocaust victims to increase

By Nathan Salant     Dec 15, 2014 in World
New York City - Compensation for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust will increase by as much as 20 percent under new agreements announced Monday by the international organization that distributes restitution to victims of Nazi atrocities during World War II.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said Monday it was increasing funding for social service organizations that serve victims in 47 countries by more than $80 million based on its receipt of additional funds from the German government.
“All Shoah victims should be able to receive the help and support that they need to live the rest of their lives in dignity, after having endured indescribable suffering in their youth,” said Rabbi Julius Berman, the New York attorney who heads the conference.
“This tremendous increase in funding will directly help many survivors, including those who need more help at home than they currently receive as well as those needing care for the first time," he said.
The Claims Conference distributes hundreds of millions of dollars annually to tens of thousands of Nazi survivors worldwide. The additional funds will push 2014 funding to $365 million to victims' home and medical care, hunger relief and other needs, conference officials said.
The money is in addition to individual reparations paid continually by Germany since the end of the war.
The Nazis killed six million European Jews and millions of Poles, Russians, Gypsies and others during 12 years in power in Germany, which ended with their defeat in World War II.
“All Shoah victims should be able to receive the help and support that they need to live the rest of their lives in dignity, after having endured indescribable suffering in their youth,” Berman said.
The Claims Conference also receives funds from the government of Austria, which was closely aligned with Germany during World War II, and from the recovery of Jewish-owned properties in East Germany, the Swiss Banks Settlement and private foundations, officials said.
“This funding is of tremendous importance to needy survivors as in many cases, these services are their only means of support," said Roman Kent, a conference negotiator who chairs the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.
"We emphasized to the German government the crucial impact that these funds have on the lives of needy survivors,” he said.
Grants from the claims conference help support hundreds of social service organizations aiding Holocaust survivors in Eastern and Western Europe, the United States and Canada, Latin America, and Israel.
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