Needy Holocaust Survivors in Central & Eastern Europe to Receive Increased Payments from Claims Conference Negotiations

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March 20, 2009

Pensions to Increase by Approximately €60 Million Over 10 Years; 35 Percent Increase for Survivors in 12 Countries Including Ukraine, Russia

Jewish Holocaust survivors living in need in Eastern Europe who receive pensions from the Claims Conference will receive significant increases in their monthly pensions from the Claims Conference, resulting from an agreement today with the German government.

The negotiations for increased pensions will result in an additional estimated €60 million being paid over the next 10 years to approximately 13,000 Holocaust survivors in 22 countries.

Furthermore, payments from the Central and Eastern European Fund (CEEF) will be the same to eligible Holocaust survivors living in countries of the European Union and non-EU countries, a change from the current German government regulations. This will result in a 35 percent increase in monthly payments for CEEF recipients living in non-EU countries, and an 11 percent increase for CEEF recipients in countries of the EU.

Beginning in January 2010, all recipients of CEEF payments will receive €240 per month. Currently, under German government regulations, approximately 7,580 survivors living in EU countries receive €216 per month but 5,340 survivors living in non-EU countries receive €178.

The Claims Conference has been intensively pressing the German government for a number of years to increase CEEF payments and to equalize all CEEF payments, as the cost of living in the region has risen substantially.

“We are very pleased that these survivors, double victims of both Nazism and Communism, will receive these increased payments. With living costs rising across Eastern Europe and elderly survivors often lacking access to basic social services, the Claims Conference has long maintained that monthly pensions must be increased to survivors in this region,” said Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary, who for the first time participated in negotiations as Special Negotiator for the Claims Conference. “These increased payments will help ease these last years of their lives, and the Claims Conference will continue to advocate on their behalf for as long as necessary.”

The Claims Conference continues to negotiate with the German government on a range of issues relating to Holocaust compensation and assistance to Jewish victims of Nazism.

The information here does not constitute a full and comprehensive description of the criteria of the CEEF or of any amendments to this program. Eligibility criteria for CEEF payments are determined by the German government. For detailed information, see (English) or (German), both with links to information in Russian.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) represents world Jewry in negotiating for compensation and restitution for victims of Nazi persecution and their heirs. The Claims Conference administers compensation funds, recovers unclaimed Jewish property, and allocates funds to institutions that provide social welfare services to Holocaust survivors and preserve the memory and lessons of the Shoah.