Germany has agreed to further compensate around 6,500 Holocaust survivors who suffered under the Nazi regime, including those who experienced the World War II siege of Leningrad and other groups impacted across Europe.
On Wednesday, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said that three groups of survivors would now be eligible to receive a monthly, life-long pension of €375 ($435) backdated from July.
Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference praised the extended contributions, remarking 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.
The three groups include around 4,500 Jews who survived the almost 900 day siege of Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg, during World War II. About 800 who mainly lived in hiding in France during the Nazi regime will also receive the stipend, as well as some 1,200 Jewish survivors from Romania.
Some of the thousands of survivors had already received one-time payments in the past, but they are still eligible for the new cash.
Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference said the money could mean “the difference between deciding to pay the rent for the month or the medicines or buying food.”
Over one million people died from hunger or bombardments in the Russian city of Leningrad during the lengthy blockade, which finally ended when the Soviet Army drove the Germans out on January 27, 1944. During the siege, Nazi Germany dropped leaflets demanding the city’s dwellers to out their Jewish friends, neighbors and colleagues.
The funds come shortly after a 96-year-old woman went on the run to avoid a court hearing over being accused of complicity in the murder of some 11,000 people while working as a secretary at a Nazi death camp situated on the Baltic coast in then-Nazi-occupied Poland. Irmgard Furchner, was caught and detained by police, before being released from custody on Tuesday pending trial.
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