For the first time, the German government agreed to compensate a large group of Jewish survivors of the so-called the “Holocaust”, most of them were originated from Algeria, and were murdered in a the genocide during World War II by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, aided by its collaborators, and they represented some six million European Jews, around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe, between 1941 and 1945.
The Claims Conference, which is working on behalf of survivors of the Holocaust, or the heirs of the victims, announced on Monday, that they will obtain compensation, in Tel Avis, as about 25.000 Algerian Jews, most of whom are currently living in France, and about 3900 of them live in Israel, according to the German News Agency.
It said that each of them will receive a compensation of 2556 euros that will be paid once.
“This is the result of negotiations with the German government”, said a spokeswoman for the organization, which was founded in 1951.
According to the conference’s statement, the compensations will be granted to Jews who lived during the period from July 1940 to November 1942 in Algeria and suffered from the persecution of the German Nazis.
“This is a long-overdue acknowledgment of a large group of Jews in Algeria who have suffered anti-Jewish actions from Nazi allies such as the fascist regime”, said the organization’s Executive Vice President, Gregory Schneider.
“This group was suffering from constraints in the field of education and political life and work”, noting that the French nationality was withdrawn from them and they were “excluded, just because they are Jews”.
In November 2007, Germany rejected an Israeli request for additional assistance to cover the costs of caring for survivors of the Holocaust, after Israel justified the demand for higher costs of treatment in the advanced stages of life, while increasing the average life expectancy of the survivors.
In September 1952, an agreement was signed between the State of Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany, in which Germany committed to pay compensation to Jews who survived the so-called Holocaust and the State of Israel as the state that inherited the rights of Jewish victims and which deals with the rehabilitation of the majority of Jewish survivors.
In the Luxembourg Agreement, Germany pledged to give Germany $ 833 million in compensation in exchange for Israel taking care of survivors who would not be allowed to prosecute Germany directly.
The German file of compensation for survivors of the “Nazi Holocaust” sparked controversy in Israel after it called on the Jewish state to reconsider the agreement for half a century.
The case began when the Minister of Retirees Affairs, Rafi Eitan, who is in charge of discussions with Germany on compensation to Jews after the war, announced that he would like to review the file.
The Israeli Minister confirmed his desire to renegotiate the two points that were not covered by the 1952 Luxembourg agreement on compensation about covering the compensations’ costs, and did not take into account the longevity of survivors or the immigration of 175,000 survivors from the former Soviet Union to Israel.
According to the Israeli Minister, Israel annually pays $560 billion to survivors of the Holocaust. Eitan said the additional costs included the cost of expensive treatment in the later stages of life, with an average life expectancy of at least 10 years higher than expected in the 1950s when compensation agreements were signed.
Many German people consider the compensation to be a real blackmail. There are no official statistics on the exact value of compensation that was paid by Germany since the end of World War II to individual Jews or institutions, but the German government said in a statement that the compensation amounted to 63 billion euros.