Germany agrees new pension deal for Holocaust survivor spouses
Written by Sunniva Kolostyak
The Claims Conference, which handles claims on behalf of Jewish people suffering under the Nazis, has announced that Germany will extend pension payments to surviving spouses, according to Jewish News.
The extension of pension payments, and an increase of other compensations, takes the total spending in 2020 to $1bn (€888m). Until now, pension payments to Holocaust survivors had been stopped upon their death, but the payments will now continue for an additional nine months after the death of the spouse.
The newspaper said about 30,000 people are expected to qualify for the extended payments, and about 14.000 spouses will be awarded the payments retroactively.
Claims Conference negotiator Greg Schneider told Jewish News: “We have survivors who have been just getting by for many years. This extra nine months of income gives a cushion for the family of the survivor to figure out how to deal with their new circumstances.”
Since 1952, Germany has paid more than $80bn (€711bn) in compensation for suffering and losses resulting from the persecution by the Nazis.
The newspaper said the Claims Conference established its own fund in 1963 to aid additionally, Righteous Gentiles — non-Jews who helped Jews survive the Holocaust — and this year the German government agreed to help fund those payments.
“These are non-Jews who risked their lives and the lives of their families to save Jews during the Holocaust They literally put their lives at stake to save others,” Schneider said. “Every one of these people should live with the greatest of dignity, so it was important for us to ensure an ongoing funding stream.”