Thousands of Holocaust Survivors Now Eligible to Receive German Pension

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BERLIN, GERMANY - JAN. 27: Roses are placed on the Holocaust Memorial on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. (Image: Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has announced that approximately 6,500 Holocaust survivors, hailing from various conflict zones across Europe, will now be eligible for pensions from Germany. 

Newly eligible people now include survivors of the Nazi siege of Leningrad, people forced into hiding in France and those who suffered persecution in Romania. Until now, individuals in these groups had not received pensions from the German government as other survivors have.

The newly eligible also include Russian, German, Israeli and French nationals who, during the war, were forced to hide in Nazi-occupied territory.

Approximately 4,500 of the some 6,500 newly eligible are survivors of the Nazi siege of Leningrad from 1941-1944 when hundreds of thousands of civilians lost their lives in air and artillery bombardment and from starvation after German forces erected a blockade of the city. 

President of the Claims Conference, Gideon Taylor, said, “Every year these negotiations become more and more critical,” adding that, “As this last generation of survivors age, their needs increase. Even 75 years after the Holocaust, these symbolic payments provide recognition and restore a piece of the dignity taken from survivors in their youth.”

Eligible applicants can expect to receive payments of €375 or US$443 per month and a one-time symbolic Child Survivor Fund payment of €2,500  or US$2,930 will be paid to those who meet specific criteria and were born in 1928 or later, the Claims Conference said. 

Special negotiator for the Claims Conference, Stuart Eizenstat, said, “As special negotiator, I have a commitment to survivors to continue to achieve new and further measures of justice whenever possible.” adding that, “I am again pleased to see more survivors recognized by the German government for their unimaginable suffering. It has been my honor to sit alongside some of these survivors as we negotiate year over year for a continued measure of justice.” The Jerusalem Post reported.