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Aid for Holocaust Survivors Detailed

German insurance companies plan to pay $15 million to thousands of elderly recipients in the first of 10 annual payouts.

June 03, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Thousands of elderly Holocaust survivors in 31 countries will share $15 million in humanitarian aid from German insurance companies this year in the first of 10 annual payouts, it was announced Monday.

The $132-million fund is part of a deal completed in October after years of negotiations to compensate families of Holocaust victims whose insurance policies were never honored after they were killed by the Nazis.

The money is coming from a consortium of insurance companies and the German government.

Gideon Taylor, executive vice president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, said the money is a small step toward providing for the needs of Holocaust survivors.

"We do not speak of justice," Taylor said. "We speak of a measure of justice. Today we are trying to make a difference."

The money will be distributed to social service agencies and will be used to provide home care and other services to Holocaust survivors.

"Maybe it will make everybody a little happy," said Teresa Malek, a 79-year-old Auschwitz survivor.

Of the $15 million, $6 million will go to survivors in Israel and $2.4 million will be used for survivors in the United States.

The 29 other countries where funds will be disbursed include the nations of the former Soviet Union as well as Western Europe.

"We were successful in making the gigantic insurance companies accountable for their misdeeds during the Holocaust, enabling us to bring some solace to thousands of survivors," said Roman Kent, chairman of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors.

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