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Around 245,000 Holocaust survivors alive: study

Many memorials, like this mural in Martel, France, remember the millions of Jews killed during the holocaust but the Claims Conference says that eight decades after World War II 245,000 elderly survivors still need 'care and services'
Many memorials, like this mural in Martel, France, remember the millions of Jews killed during the holocaust but the Claims Conference says that eight decades after World War II 245,000 elderly survivors still need 'care and services' - Copyright AFP Valentine CHAPUIS
Many memorials, like this mural in Martel, France, remember the millions of Jews killed during the holocaust but the Claims Conference says that eight decades after World War II 245,000 elderly survivors still need 'care and services' - Copyright AFP Valentine CHAPUIS

Nearly 80 years after the end of World War II, there are still about 245,000 Holocaust survivors alive across more than 90 countries, a study showed Tuesday.

According to the Claims Conference, an organisation that seeks damages for Holocaust survivors, 119,300 of them live in Israel, 38,400 in the United States, 21,900 in France and 14,200 in Germany.

“Nearly all of the current population of survivors were children at the time of Nazi persecution, having survived camps, ghettos, flight and living in hiding,” said the report, underlining that children had the “slimmest chances of surviving”.

With a median age of 86 now, they are “at a period of life where their need for care and services is growing,” said Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, adding that it was “time to double down on our attention to this waning population”.

The report is the most comprehensive in recent years, drawing on “an unprecedented worldwide database of survivors”, the conference said.

Founded in 1951, the Claims Conference has been the main organisation seeking damages for Holocaust survivors, and was a signatory to the Luxembourg Agreement under which West Germany assumed responsibility for Nazi atrocities and paid reparations.

The signing of the accord by West Germany was widely seen as its first major step back into the community of nations after World War II in which six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

Since then, Germany has paid more than $90 billion as a result of negotiations with the Claims Conference, according to the group.

Some survivors — such as those incarcerated in concentration camps — remain eligible for ongoing payments, while others — including those who fled from the Nazi regime — get one-off payouts.

AFP
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