1 million-euro restitution fund announced for Luxembourg Holocaust survivors

One-time payments will go to Luxembourg Holocaust survivors, issues of dormant bank accounts, looted art will also be addressed.

Dan Verbin, Canada ,

Holocaust. Auschwitz concentration camp
Holocaust. Auschwitz concentration camp

The announcement of an agreement reached at the beginning of the year between the government of Luxembourg and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) will enable Luxembourger Holocaust survivors to apply for one-time direct support payment from a fund of over EUR 1,000,000 ($ 1,180,660.00 USD).

The application deadline is October 15, 2021. To be eligible for the restitution program, an applicant must have faced persecution by the Nazis or their allies between January 1933 to May 1945 and must either currently live in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or have lived there at any time between January 1933 and May 1945.

The agreement between Luxembourg and the WJRO commits the Luxembourg government to a one-time payment of EUR 1,000,000 directly to Holocaust survivors, who will each get an equal amount.

“It was an honor to join together with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in this year’s historic agreement on Holocaust-era restitution, which provides direct support for Holocaust survivors,” said Gideon Taylor, WJRO chair of operations, in a statement.

“While we cannot rectify or lessen the horrible crimes committed by the Nazis against Jews in Luxembourg and throughout Europe, the Luxembourg compensation program is a meaningful acknowledgment of the suffering endured and secures a small measure of justice. We welcome Luxembourg taking this important step towards the sacred responsibility to care for aging Holocaust survivors so that they can live out the remainder of their lives with the dignity they deserve.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

Marcel I. Salomon, 86, a Luxembourg survivor living in Israel, described the signing of the agreement as an emotional day for Holocaust survivors from Luxembourg.

“More than 75 years after the end of Holocaust, the funds from this agreement serve as an important recognition of the tragedy that we experienced during the Shoah and are also a symbolically memorial to all those who were murdered, including my grandmother and two uncles,” said Salomon.

The agreement was signed on January 27, 2021 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

In addition to the payment program, the agreement commits resources to funding Holocaust memorialization, remembrance, research and education.

It will also address significant restitution issues such as dormant bank accounts and insurance, as well as looted art.

“At the time the Nazis invaded Luxembourg in 1940, approximately 3,900 Jews lived in the country – around three-quarters of them were foreign citizens. It is estimated that between 1,000 to 2,500 Luxembourg Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. Government reports published in Luxembourg in 2009 and 2015 recognize that Jews who were not citizens did not receive compensation for the confiscation of their property during the Holocaust. After World War II, around 1,500 Jews returned to Luxembourg and today about 1,200 reside in the country,” said WJRO.