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The United States House of Representatives has unanimously approved a resolution urging the government of Germany to provide additional funding for services for Holocaust victims. Three hundred sixty-three members of the U.S. Congress sent a clear and unequivocal message to the government of Germany. Acknowledging the significant funding that Germany has provided over the years, the House called on Germany to take a final step in accepting moral responsibility. The resolution, H Con Res 129, introduced by Florida representatives, co-sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), states “support for the goal of ensuring that all Holocaust victims live with dignity, comfort, and security in their remaining years, and urging the Federal Republic of Germany to reaffirm its commitment to this goal through a financial commitment to comprehensively address the unique health and welfare needs of vulnerable Holocaust victims, including home care and other medically prescribed needs.”
A concurrent version in the Senate, S Con Res 36, was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) as well.
The Claims Conference is continuously talking with the government of Germany about the increasing unmet needs of aging Holocaust victims. This resolution sends a clear message to Germany that increased homecare and welfare services for survivors is a priority to the American people and Congress. Homecare funding from Germany to the Claims Conference is currently 210 million euros (approximately $231 million) in 2016, but the needs are greater than these funds can address and we are pressing to be able to expand hours of homecare for the tens of thousands of Holocaust victims worldwide who need it. We currently provide homecare to 64,000 Holocaust victims and another 100,000 with other aid such as food, medicine and emergency assistance, but there is always more to be done.
“Today in the United States there are tens of thousands of survivors who live in poverty and cannot afford, and thus do not receive, sufficient medical care, homecare, and other vital life-sustaining services. Today we have an opportunity to send a clear message that these survivors, who made it through the darkest time in history, deserve to live out their lives in the dignity that they are so worthy of and have so long been promised,” said Rep. Deutch. “The survivor population is aging. Their needs are greater. Unfortunately, despite the payments of the German government over decades, significant gaps in survivor care remain and German officials have acknowledged that shortfall.”
“How can we say to that generation, ‘You should go without’? Honoring them with this resolution, engaging our partner, our ally Germany in this one last endeavor is a noble cause,” said Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA).
We profoundly thank all the members of the House of Representatives who voted for this resolution. The steadfast support of the U.S. government has been crucial to our efforts to obtain a small measure of justice since the founding of the Claims Conference. The co-sponsors are listed here.