Germany expands Holocaust reparation

The Jerusalem Post
May 19, 2005

The German government has recognized Jews held in labor camps in Africa
as a new category of Holocaust survivor eligible for compensation
payments, the Jewish Claims Conference said Thursday.

The German government also agreed to provide US $11.5 million to help
provide home care for increasingly elderly Holocaust survivors. Last
year it paid 6 million for the purpose, which was allocated to 43
agencies serving Jewish victims in 17 countries, the organization said.

According to the deal worked out with the German Finance Ministry,
Jews held for at least six months in certain labor camps in Tunisia,
Morocco, Algeria, and also in Hungary, are now eligible for payments
from the Finance Ministry's pension program fund, providing they also
meet the other German requirements.

The Finance Ministry did not immediately return calls for comment on
the agreement.

The Claims Conference, which represents Jews around the world in
negotiating for compensation and restitution for Nazi persecution,
said in a statement that it would continue to press for the inclusion
of other categories of survivors into compensation programs. Those
include Jews who were in forced military labor battalions and "in
concentration camps not currently recognized as such by Germany."

During the negotiations, the German government also agreed to increase
the amounts paid to recipients of the pension program who live in new
European Union countries to recognize their increased cost of living.

Under the new scheme, recipients in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia will now get 175
(US$222) monthly, up from 135 (US$171).

-- Associated Press