Germany to provide funds to Nazis’ child victims

Children gathered at a fence at  Auschwitz after the death camp was liberated in 1945.
Associated Press/File
Children gathered at a fence at Auschwitz after the death camp was liberated in 1945.

BERLIN — Child survivors of the Holocaust will receive additional financial assistance from the German government to help with increasing problems stemming from malnutrition and psychological trauma inflicted by the Nazis, under a new agreement worth an estimated $250 million.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said the agreement reached with the Finance Ministry late Wednesday would provide one-time payments of $3,280 for Jewish children who were in concentration camps, ghettos, or spent at least six months in hiding.

The Finance Ministry confirmed the agreement Thursday but refused to provide further details.


The payment comes in addition to other compensation they may have received, and represents the first time the German government has recognized the unique problems facing child survivors, said Claims Conference executive vice president Greg Schneider, who was involved in the negotiations.

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‘‘All of this is being driven by the fact that we’re in the final years,’’ Schneider said in a telephone interview from New York. ‘‘If there’s going to be any final message that the German government or the German people are going to give to survivors, these are literally the last years to do it.’’

Schneider estimated that some 75,000 survivors around the world could qualify for the payments, designed to help them with physical and psychological problems stemming from childhood malnutrition and emotional trauma.

Because so many survivors lost most, if not all, relatives in the Holocaust, many lack family support in their old age and have no inherited wealth to help them, Schneider noted.

The agreement, which still has to be approved by the German Parliament but is not expected to meet any political resistance, will provide the one-time payment to Nazi victims born Jan. 1, 1928 or later.

Associated Press