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Germany pays Israeli Holocaust survivors amid Hamas war

April 11, 2024

Germany is making a €220 payment to each of Israel's 113,000 Holocaust survivors to help them cope with the war against Hamas. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been evacuated from border regions since October 7.

A local woman prepares to lay a candle among stelae at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also called the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
Germany is paying Holocaust survivors in Israel to help them cope with the war against the Hamas militant group as part of the country's historic responsibilityImage: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Germany said Thursday it is sending Holocaust survivors in Israel €25 million ($27 million) to help them cope with the impact of the October 7 attacks by Hamas and its aftermath.

There are around 113,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, according to Jewish groups.

What do we know about the payments?

Each of the survivors in Israel will receive a one-off €220 payment, according to the New York-based Claims Conference, a Jewish umbrella organization that seeks damages for Holocaust survivors.

"Many Holocaust survivors were hit particularly hard by the Hamas attacks," said a spokeswoman for the German Finance Ministry.

She added that the additional payments were aimed at assisting the survivors "in this frightening war situation" and that they were "a gesture of solidarity and support from Germany toward Israel in this exceptional and stressful situation for the Holocaust victims."

Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, praised the payments as a "message of solidarity" from Germany.

The payments are being distributed in cooperation with the Claims Conference and the Israeli government's Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority, the Finance Ministry said.

Payments made amid Israel-Hamas war

The Hamas militant Islamist group launched attacks on southern Israel on October 7, killing nearly 1,170 people and taking 253 people hostage, according to Israeli figures.

In response, Israel began carrying out bombardment and a major ground offensive of the Gaza Strip. According to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory, at least 33,545 people have died in Gaza since October 7.

The ministry's figures are seen as broadly reliable but do not differentiate civilian and combatant casualties.

Tens of thousands of Israelis, including Holocaust survivors, have been evacuated from towns on the border with Gaza and in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas and heightened hostilities with the Hezbollah militant group.

sdi/wmr (AFP, dpa)