Germany celebrates 70 years of compensation for Holocaust survivors

FILE - Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Claims Commission, center, signs agreements between Germany and Israel during a ceremony in Luxembourg September 10, 1952. On December 8, 2022, Germany had agreed to pay approximately $1.2 billion (€1.18 billion) for home care and compensation for Holocaust survivors living around the world in 2023, bringing Germany's total compensation payout to more of 80 billion euros.  The announcement came 70 years after the signing of the compensation agreement that saw Holocaust survivors receive a measure of justice - the so-called Luxembourg Accords.  (AP Photo, File)
FILE - Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Claims Commission, center, signs agreements between Germany and Israel during a ceremony in Luxembourg September 10, 1952. On December 8, 2022, Germany had agreed to pay approximately $1.2 billion (€1.18 billion) for home care and compensation for Holocaust survivors living around the world in 2023, bringing Germany's total compensation payout to more of 80 billion euros.  The announcement came 70 years after the signing of the compensation agreement that saw Holocaust survivors receive a measure of justice - the so-called Luxembourg Accords.  (AP Photo, File)
FILE - Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Claims Commission, center, signs agreements between Germany and Israel during a ceremony in Luxembourg September 10, 1952. On December 8, 2022, Germany had agreed to pay approximately $1.2 billion (€1.18 billion) for home care and compensation for Holocaust survivors living around the world in 2023, bringing Germany's total compensation payout to more of 80 billion euros.  The announcement came 70 years after the signing of the compensation agreement that saw Holocaust survivors receive a measure of justice - the so-called Luxembourg Accords.  (AP Photo, File)

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FILE – Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Claims Commission, center, signs agreements between Germany and Israel during a ceremony in Luxembourg September 10, 1952. On December 8, 2022, Germany had agreed to pay approximately $1.2 billion (€1.18 billion) for home care and compensation for Holocaust survivors living around the world in 2023, bringing Germany’s total compensation payout to more of 80 billion euros. The announcement came 70 years after the signing of the compensation agreement that saw Holocaust survivors receive a measure of justice – the so-called Luxembourg Accords. (AP Photo, File)

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FILE – Nahum Goldman, chairman of the Jewish Claims Commission, center, signs agreements between Germany and Israel during a ceremony in Luxembourg September 10, 1952. On December 8, 2022, Germany had agreed to pay approximately $1.2 billion (€1.18 billion) for home care and compensation for Holocaust survivors living around the world in 2023, bringing Germany’s total compensation payout to more of 80 billion euros. The announcement came 70 years after the signing of the compensation agreement that saw Holocaust survivors receive a measure of justice – the so-called Luxembourg Accords. (AP Photo, File)

BERLIN (AP) — The organization that handles claims on behalf of Jews who suffered under the Nazis said Thursday that Germany had agreed to pay around $1.2 billion for home care and l compensation for Holocaust survivors living around the world in 2023, bringing the total amount of compensation paid by Germany to more than 80 billion euros.

The announcement came as Germany marked the 70th anniversary of the signing of the compensation agreement that saw Holocaust survivors receive a measure of justice – the so-called Luxembourg Accords.

Over 6 million European Jews were murdered by the German Nazis and their henchmen during the Third Reich.

“The Nazi extermination of European Jewry left a horrific chasm, not only in world Jewry, but in world humanity,” said Gideon Taylor, president of the New York-based Jewish Material Claims Conference. against Germany, also called the claims conference.

“These agreements laid the foundation for compensation and restitution for survivors who had lost everything and continue to serve as the basis for ongoing negotiations on behalf of the approximately 280,000 Holocaust survivors living around the world,” added Taylor.

On Thursday, the German government invited hundreds of guests – including Holocaust survivors and members of the Claims Conference – to a ceremony at the Jewish Museum in Berlin to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the agreement and highlight the special responsibility of the country towards the past, the present, and for the future.

“The Luxembourg agreements were fundamental and led to financial compensation amounting to more than 80 billion euros that Germany paid by the end of 2021,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who also attended the ceremony.

“Survivor payments and the home care program are very close to our hearts,” added the Chancellor.

The Luxembourg Accords, concluded in 1952, created the basis for all subsequent compensation for Nazi persecution.

The negotiations were highly controversial at the time and even led to violent protests in Israel, where some argued that accepting reparation payments – which they called blood money – amounted to pardoning the Nazis for their crimes.

Yet it was the first time in history that a defeated power paid compensation to civilians for loss and suffering.

“As visionary as those original negotiators were, they could not have imagined the profound, long-term consequences of the Holocaust on survivors,” Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told the Associated Press.

“No one imagined that maybe 70 years later there would still be elderly Holocaust survivors who were so poor, who were so needy, who were still suffering the dire consequences,” he said, adding that was why the results of this year’s negotiation include a €130m increase in home care.

Among other payments, €12 million in emergency humanitarian payments will go to 8,500 Ukrainian Holocaust survivors, and €170 million will go to a special hardship fund that will affect approximately 143,000 survivors of the Holocaust. Holocaust in the world.

As the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles, it becomes increasingly important to teach future generations about the atrocities committed during the genocide of the Jewish people. Therefore, Germany agreed for the first time in the negotiations to specifically fund Holocaust education – with 10 million euros for 2022, 25 million euros for 2023, 30 million euros for 2024 and 35 million euros for 2025.

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