Germany to compensate Kindertransport survivors

Following negotiations with the German government, compensation will be paid to Holocaust survivors who were children in Kindertransport.

Tags: World War II
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Germany
Germany
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On Monday morning, the president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, Rabbi Julius Berman, announced that negotiations with the German government had been completed, and that and agreement had been reached on behalf of Holocaust survivors who had fled Germany as children as part of the "Kindertransport" in the 1930s. Under the terms of the agreement, Berman said, the Kindertransport refugees will get compensation from the German government.

“We never lost hope that this moment will come, and we would be able to bring about this historical announcement,” Berman said. “The agreement was achieved on the occasion that marks 80 years since the beginning of the rescue operation “Kindertransport”. It will provide compensation to the Holocaust survivors who were children on those rescue trains.”

“Kindertransport” is the name given to the rescue operations of Jewish children under 17 years who were sent from Nazi Germany and as well as countries annexed to Germany, such as Austria and Czechoslovakia. The children were sent to Great Britain between December of 1938 until the Second World War broke out on the first of September 1939.

On Kristallnacht (the 'Night of Broken Glass') the situation for Jews in the Third Reich worsened dramatically. Jewish families urgently began to search for any which way to send their children to safety. Over 10,000 children were saved from death by their parents who were desperate to save their children from the horrific reality of life under the Nazi Regime, finding shelter for the children in Britain.

In some cases, parents sent babies and toddlers with older children on the rescue transport. Heartbreaking scenes at the train stations, children of the Kindertransport were often taken from parents and in most cases, it would be the last time child and parent would see each other.

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, special representative of the Claims Conference for negotiations with the German government said, “the payment comes as we mark the 80th anniversary of the children’s fateful journey from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to Britain. After being forced to live a full life without their parents and families. No one can pretend to make their lives whole, but now they get a little bit of justice.”

Greg Shneider, Director of the Claims Conference said, “we must all stop for a moment to cherish and remember the act of sacrifice by the parents... to give their children a chance to live, a life that these children had without mothers, fathers, and in many cases without any family of any kind. No one can imagine the pain at the train stations when the Kindertransport began.”

The Kindertransport Fund will be opened by the Claims Conference on January 1, 2019. As of this date, it will be possible to submit requests for compensation, free charges, in Israel as well, without the assistance of any party.

As part of past compensations, Holocaust survivors received payment during the 1950s. Previous payments will not prevent those eligible to receive this new compensation. The criteria for receiving the compensation were determined by the German government.



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