NEW YORK (JTA) – Germany and the Claims Conference are establishing a $250 million fund for child survivors of the Holocaust.
The fund will provide one-time payouts of approximately $3,280 (2,500 euros) to Jews born in 1928 or later who spent at least six months in Nazi concentration camps, in ghettos, in hiding or living under a false identity during the Second World War. The payouts are in addition to any other payments the survivors receive or have received.
Slated to open Jan. 1, the new fund is meant to recognize “psychological and medical trauma caused during their deprived childhoods,” Claims Conference President Julius Berman said.
Germany will provide approximately 75 per cent of the money for the program. The balance will come from the Claims Conference’s so-called Successor Organization, which is funded by the sale of Jewish properties recovered in the former East Germany for whom no heirs could be found.
The deal is subject to approval by the German Bundestag and the board of the Claims Conference. Once ratified, the Claims Conference will publish details about applying.
Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, said the suffering these victims endured as children – the fund covers those who were 18 or younger during the war – is having an impact in their later years.
“Witnessing unimaginable atrocities, deprivation from proper nutrition and a range of injurious experiences has had a cumulative effect and are resulting in late-onset problems that only now are manifesting as physical and psychological symptoms,” Schneider said.