The mission of the Claims Conference over its history has always been to secure what we consider a small measure of justice for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. We have pursued this goal since 1951 through a combination of negotiations, disbursing funds to individuals and organizations, and seeking the return of Jewish property lost during the Holocaust.
For nearly six decades, the Claims Conference has:
As a result of negotiations with the Claims Conference since 1952, the German government has paid more than $60 billion in indemnification for suffering and losses resulting from Nazi persecution. Claims Conference negotiations have also resulted in the creation of funds from German and Austrian industry, as well as the Austrian government.
But our work is not yet complete. We continue to negotiate with representatives of Germany and Austria as well as with representatives of industry and banks. And the Claims Conference continues to administer compensation programs and distribute payments.
The Claims Conference is also addressing the needs of the aging population of Jewish victims of Nazi persecution through grants to organizations, primarily funded today by the sale of unclaimed Jewish property in the former East Germany. Over the decades, we have made great efforts to better serve Shoah survivors worldwide with Claims Conference funds. In the two decades after the war, the need for organized relief and rehabilitation of survivors, and for investment in community infrastructure, was met through Claims Conference allocations. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been allocated toward bettering the lives of Nazi victims in 46 countries.
Today, the Claims Conference also administers allocations from the German government and several other funding sources.
The Claims Conference remains painfully aware that the destruction of Jewish life during the Holocaust can never be made whole. However, we will continue to keep our focus on issues of concern to survivors and to the worldwide Jewish community.