Western Europe

Holocaust survivors enjoy music and good company at a Purim “Treffpunkte” social event in Berlin, sponsored by the Claims Conference. Photo: Claims Conference / Marco Limberg

United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, municipal budget reductions have been accompanied by cost increases in medical care, utilities, and food. The Claims Conference supports services provided by an umbrella group comprising social service agencies working with Nazi victims. The outreach program of the Association of Jewish Refugees identifies and serves increasing numbers of needy survivors throughout the country.


November 2023 Update: 2023 Austrian Holocaust Survivor Payment

In Austria, ESRA provides home care, meals on wheels, medical programs and equipment, and minor home modifications. In 2008, ESRA established a widely successful “friendly visiting” program to pair elderly Nazi victims with local volunteers. Emergency assistance is provided in coordination with the Jewish Community of Vienna.

Service Social Juif in Brussels provides home care, transportation, a pool of Jewish family physicians for rapid response to the medical needs of homebound Nazi victims, and other services.

Most Nazi victims in Denmark are immigrants from Poland and Hungary, and did not have the opportunity to build up substantial pensions. With state support for home care and other welfare programs insufficient to meet demand, the Jewish Community of Copenhagen is playing an increasingly important role. The Claims Conference funds a case worker for survivors, as well as meal deliveries, medical equipment, medicine and transportation.

The Central Board of Jewish Welfare in Germany (ZWST) serves as the central social service umbrella organization for 105 Jewish communities across Germany. With Claims Conference funding, ZWST administers a program with 27 Jewish communities providing case management and “Treffpunkte” to Holocaust survivors. Treffpunkte are meeting places and social care centers operating several times a week to provide meals and socialization opportunities for survivors.

With the introduction of the Euro in Greece, prices tripled but salaries and pensions did not. Greece’s social system does not function as well as in other European countries, with state pensions covering less than one-third of expenses. The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece represents the eight main Jewish communities and provides home care, emergency financial assistance, and other services with Claims Conference funding.

Home Care organizations in the Netherlands have been confronted with severe government budget cuts. The Claims Conference partners with Dutch Jewish Social Services (JMW) and Stichting Joods Amstersdams Bejaarden Centrum Beth Shalom Nursing Home (JABC). With Claims Conference funds, the agencies provide home care services and emergency assistance to Nazi victims.

In Sweden, the Jewish Community of Stockholm provides homecare to Holocaust victims, increasingly in demand since cutbacks in the municipally-funded program. The Jewish Community of Malmo provides Nazi victims with homecare, case management, meal delivery, and a weekly communal lunch. For the first time in 2009, the Claims Conference allocated funds to the Jewish Community of Gothenburg for emergency assistance.

In light of the decreased spending power of Swiss old-age pensions, the Claims Conference recently assisted the Swiss Jewish Welfare Organization in establishing an emergency assistance program for Nazi victims.

The Claims Conference also funds programs in France, Germany and Italy.