June 11, 2024
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Claims Conference Increases Funding for Holocaust Education And Survivor Services

(Courtesy of Claims Conference) The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) has announced the outcomes of negotiations with the German Federal Ministry of Finance on behalf of Holocaust survivors living globally. The results include a $114 million USD increase in funding for social welfare services, involving acute assistance for survivors for each of the next two years. Additionally, there is an increase of $55 million USD for Holocaust education through 2028.

Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, said, “As Holocaust survivors age and their care is more complex, we see a need for increased social welfare services globally. It is imperative that we keep the promises we made to survivors after the Holocaust: We must ensure they are able to live their final years in dignity. We must work to guarantee they have the services and care they require. And, in this time of growing Holocaust denial and distortion, it is critical that we secure a robust foundation for Holocaust education to ensure current and future generations alike have access and opportunities to truly understand the lessons of the Holocaust. Only then can we be sure our past does not become our future. Only then can we say, ‘Never again.’”

Social welfare services, including home care, are provided through the Claims Conference’s network of more than 300 social welfare agency partners across 83 countries. Social welfare agencies engage directly with Holocaust survivors, ensuring their individual needs are met, including home care, food packages, medical needs, transportation to appointments and socialization. Although the total number of Holocaust survivors is decreasing overall, those who remain alive require more care. These services are all essential to this last generation of Holocaust survivors.

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, special negotiator for the Claims Conference Negotiations Delegation, said, “Each year as we see the survivor population dwindling, we are reminded that we must sustain our staunch commitment to the critical needs of Holocaust survivors globally. As we have stressed to our German counterparts, even though the survivor population is declining, the needs of those that remain grow and require urgent action. Even as we prepare to mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we are seeing a resurgence of hate and Holocaust denial that plague remaining survivors. We applaud the German government in working with us to fortify our collective commitment to survivors while also helping to ensure that the atrocities of the past are remembered and not repeated.”

Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, said, “The commitment to this final generation of Holocaust survivors by the Claims Conference and the German government is steadfast and unfaltering. In this time of rising antisemitism, we must ensure that survivors know their care and services are secure and our sense of responsibility is unwavering.”

As the Holocaust fades further into the past and we lose our eyewitnesses, the need for Holocaust education amidst the rising tide of antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion is evident. This last generation of Holocaust survivors have lessons to share that must be remembered. It is essential that survivors know their own legacy of survival and the history of their family, friends and lost communities will be carried forward by future generations.

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