At a Time of Global Strife, Holocaust Education Receives a Much-Needed Increase; Holocaust Survivors Also Receive Increase in Social Welfare Services Funding

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Negotiations between the Claims Conference and the German government, held this year at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City.

Social Welfare Services For Holocaust Survivors Will Increase An Additional €105 Million, Impacting More Than 100,000 Survivors Worldwide. Outcomes For These Negotiations Also Include An Increase Of €51 million For Holocaust Education. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: June 5, 2024—Today, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) announced the outcomes of their negotiations with the German Federal Ministry of Finance on behalf of Holocaust survivors living globally. The results include a €105 million ($114 million USD) increase in funding for social welfare services, involving acute assistance for survivors for each of the next two years. This brings the total budget for social welfare services to €893.9 million ($972.5 million USD), nearly $2billion in funding from 2025 through 2026. Additionally, there is an increase of €51million ($55 million USD) for Holocaust education through 2028, bringing the total for Holocaust education funding to €164 million ($177 million USD) over the next four years. 

Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference, said, “As Holocaust survivors age and their care is more complex, we see a need for increased social welfare services globally. It is imperative that we keep the promises we made to survivors after the Holocaust: We must ensure they are able to live their final years in dignity. We must work to guarantee they have the services and care they require. And, in this time of growing Holocaust denial and distortion, it is critical that we secure a robust foundation for Holocaust education to ensure current and future generations alike have access and opportunities to truly understand the lessons of the Holocaust. Only then can we be sure our past does not become our future. Only then can we say, ‘Never again.’” 

Social welfare services, including home care, are provided through the Claims Conference’s network of more than 300 social welfare agency partners across 83 countries. Social welfare agencies engage directly with Holocaust survivors, ensuring their individual needs are met, including home care, food packages, medical needs, transportation to appointments and socialization. Although the total number of Holocaust survivors is decreasing overall, those who remain alive require more care. These services are all essential to this last generation of Holocaust survivors. 

Holocaust survivor Simha Natan (left) with her home care worker Polya Ruseva (right) in Yambol, Bulgaria. Simha receives social services from Shalom Yambol through grants from the Claims Conference. Simha also receives a monthly pension from the Central and Eastern European Fund from Claims for her persecution during the Holocaust. Photo Credit: Tzvetelina Friedman.

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Special Negotiator for the Claims Conference Negotiations Delegation, said, “Each year as we see the survivor population dwindling, we are reminded that we must sustain our staunch commitment to the critical needs of Holocaust survivors globally. As we have stressed to our German counterparts, even though the survivor population is declining, the needs of those that remain grow and require urgent action. Even as we prepare to mark the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we are seeing a resurgence of hate and Holocaust denial that plague remaining survivors. We applaud the German government in working with us to fortify our collective commitment to survivors while also helping to ensure that the atrocities of the past are remembered and not repeated.” 

Gideon Taylor, President of the Claims Conference, said, “The commitment to this final generation of Holocaust survivors by the Claims Conference and the German government both is steadfast and unfaltering. In this time of rising antisemitism, we must ensure that survivors know their care and services are secure and our sense of responsibility is unwavering.” 

Compensation for Holocaust survivors will total approximately €460 million ($500 million USD), including survivors who get pensions and those who receive the one-time annual Hardship Fund Supplemental. 

Holocaust education saw growth of €51 million ($55 million USD) in this year’s negotiations. As the Holocaust fades further into the past and we lose our eyewitnesses, the need for Holocaust education amidst the rising tide of antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion is evident. This last generation of Holocaust survivors have lessons to share that must be remembered. It is essential that survivors know their own legacy of survival and the history of their family, friends and lost communities will be carried forward by future generations. 

While recent global Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Surveys show that knowledge of the Holocaust is fading, all surveys indicate a strong desire for Holocaust education in schools around the world. These surveys include respondents in the United States, Canada, Austria, France, the U.K. and The Netherlands. We must fight the decline in knowledge of key facts about the Holocaust with a fortified and continued commitment to Holocaust education. 

Resulting from negotiations in 2025: 

  • Home Care Services: For January – December 2025, €893.9 million ($972.5 million USD) will be provided for social welfare services, including an additional €105 million ($114 million USD) in funding to address survivors’ increased needs. 
  • Holocaust Education: Funding for Holocaust education has been extended through 2028 and increased. The newly negotiated funding amounts are €37 million ($40 million USD) for 2025, €40 million ($43 million USD) for 2026, €42 million ($45 million USD) for 2027 and €45 million ($49 million USD) for 2028. 
  • Direct Compensation: Direct compensation payments for survivors continue as it has in previous years. This includes one-time payments and monthly pensions projected to be $500 million USD from January – December 2025, approximately $40 million USD less than in 2024 as, unfortunately, Holocaust survivors pass away.