For the first time ever, the German Finance Ministry has held negotiations in Israel with The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference). The result – a revised agreement under which the German government has committed to provide approximately $1 billion over a four-year period for homecare for Jewish Holocaust victims, with the annual amount increasing every year through 2017.
As per the agreement the German government will provide $266 million in 2015 – an increase of 45 percent over 2014; $273 million for 2016 and $280 million for 2017. The previously agreed-upon amount for 2014 is approximately $185 million, an increase of $15 million over 2013 funding.
While in Israel, the German delegation visited [in their homes] with Holocaust survivors who are receiving homecare; a Senior Day Center and a soup kitchen in which survivors are receiving a hot daily meal. Immediately preceding the negotiations, the delegation spent several hours visiting Yad Vashem, with survivors sharing their personal experiences.
Currently, the Claims Conference is supporting homecare for 56,000 Holocaust victims around the world. Based on the organization’s assessments, the need has not yet peaked, as all the survivors who remain alive are increasingly elderly, with many growing more frail and vulnerable. The Claims Conference has worked with the German Ministry of Finance to provide comprehensive data regarding the current and projected needs of Nazi victims. In addition to the 56,000 Nazi victims who are receiving Claims Conference-funded homecare, there are an additional 90,000 Holocaust survivors worldwide who receive other welfare services such as food, medicine, socialization programs and transportation from the Claims Conference.
[eJP note: the agreement between the government of Germany and the Claims Conference specifies amounts in euros. The dollar amounts listed were provided by the Claims Conference.]