Landmark changes for Holocaust victims achieved at recent Claims Conference
In historic breakthroughs during negotiations with the German government on July 9, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany (Claims Conference) attained a number of landmark changes to compensation payments for Holocaust victims, announced Claims Conference Chairman Julius Berman.Sixty years after West Germany agreed to the first compensation payments to Holocaust victims, 80,000 now-elderly Jewish victims of Nazism living in the Former Soviet Union will receive payments for the first time since World War II.
From November 1, 2012, these victims will become eligible to apply for a payment from the Hardship Fund for their suffering during the Holocaust, a long-sought goal of the Claims Conference. This primarily affects Jews who fled eastward into the USSR ahead of the advancing Nazi army and mobile killing squads known as Einsatzgruppen but who did not live directly under Nazi occupation.
The Fund will be open for applications from these newly eligible victims starting on November 1, 2012. Information is available in Russian, English, Hebrew and German at www.claimscon.org. The Hardship Fund makes one-time payments of Ä2,556.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) represents world Jewry in negotiating for compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs. The Claims Conference administers compensation funds, recovers unclaimed Jewish property, and allocates funds to institutions that provide social welfare services to Holocaust survivors and preserve the memory and lessons of the Shoah.
The World Union for Progressive Judaism, as the global Jewish organization representing more than 1.8 million Reform, Progressive, Liberal and Reconstructionist Jews around the world, is a board member organization of the Claims Conference. Shai Pinto, World Unionís VP and COO, and Donald Day, former World Union Chair and Honorary Executive Board member, represent the World Union on the board.
Pinto, who participated in the recent conference in Washington DC says: "this is a historic achievement that will bring a very small measure of justice to thousands of victims from behind the "Iron curtain". We must do whatever we can to make sure as many eligible survivors apply for this compensation. Our staff throughout the FSU and in Israel will assist local organizations and Claims Conference staff in this holy task".