September 16, 2019

Holocaust Survivors Get More Aid and Non-Jewish Rescuers Receive Benefits Under New German Government Agreement

Photo from Flickr.

(JTA) — The spouse of a Holocaust survivor will continue to receive a monthly pension for nine months after the survivor’s death under new agreements with the German government.

The agreements negotiated by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany also provides a $50 million increase in funding for social welfare services for survivors, bringing the total for 2020 funded by Germany to over $587 million. Also, monthly pensions will increase by 46 percent from now until Jan. 1 to about $650 a month.

For the first time, righteous gentiles — non-Jews recognized by Yad Vashem for saving Jews during the Holocaust — will receive a monthly pension from the German government.

The agreements were announced Monday and will take effect Jan. 1.

Under the deal, the pensions for the surviving spouses are designed to help with funeral and living expenses, as well as other financial adjustments.

Prior to the negotiations, the German and Claims Conference delegations met Holocaust survivors living in New York City in their homes.

“This new agreement will benefit tens of thousands of the poorest Holocaust survivors,” Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider said in a statement. “As survivors age, their needs grow ever greater and our persistence does not wane; we continue to achieve ‘firsts’ for survivors while achieving increases in pensions and social welfare services at the same time.”