Germany rejects additional financial contributions to Holocaust survivors

16th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 November 2007, Berlin - Germany has turned down a request from Israel for extra contributions to cover the care of Holocaust survivors, a government spokesman said Friday.

16 November 2007

Berlin - Germany has turned down a request from Israel for extra contributions to cover the care of Holocaust survivors, a government spokesman said Friday.

Spokesman Thomas Steg said the decision was taken after careful study, following talks between the Finance Ministry and Israeli Pensions Minister Rafi Eitan.

Steg said the situation of Holocaust survivors is regularly discussed with the Jewish Claims Conference, which represents the interests of Jewish victims worldwide.

Germany had on various occasions improved its compensation payments within the framework of existing agreements, he said.

Eitan recently asked Germany if it could meet extra, unforeseen expenses for Holocaust survivors, but outside the framework of the 1952 Luxembourg agreement which covers reparations.

These expenses include the high cost of medication in the latter stages of life and a life expectancy at least 10 years longer than in the 1950s, when the reparations agreements were signed.

In addition, the minister said Israel has absorbed "hundreds of thousands" of Holocaust survivors from the former Soviet Union who were not accounted for in the original agreement.

The Luxembourg agreement stipulated that Germany would give Israel 833 million dollars in reparations, and Israel would look after the survivors, who would not be permitted to sue Germany directly.

But Eitan says that in the 50 years between 1954 and 2004, the Israeli government had spent some 3.5 billion dollars on the survivors, more than four times the sum transferred by Germany.

DPA

Subject: German news

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