THE WORLD JEWISH RESTITUTION ORGANIZATION (WJRO) ANNOUNCES LUXEMBOURG PAYMENT PROGRAM FOR ELIGIBLE HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS
Announcement marks next phase of historic Luxembourg agreement on Holocaust era restitution and provides EUR 1,000,000 to be distributed equally to approved applicants.
(New York, NY) July 15, 2021: The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) announces that Holocaust survivors can now apply for the Luxembourg direct support payment program. The application deadline is October 15, 2021. To be eligible for the program, an applicant must have been persecuted as a Jew by the Nazi regime or their allies at any time from January 1933 to May 1945 and either:
- Currently live in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, or
- Lived in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at any time from January 1933 to May 1945.
“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, Chair of Operations, World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO). “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.”
“The signing of the agreement was an emotional day for me and my fellow 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 Marcel I. Salomon, 86, a Luxembourg survivor living in Israel.
On January 27, 2021, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a historic agreement was signed between the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), the State of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Jewish community of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Foundation for the Remembrance of the Shoah. In the agreement, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg committed to pay a one-time payment of EUR 1,000,000 to directly support Holocaust survivors, which will be distributed equally to approved applicants.
The one-time payment will be made in two installments. Fifty percent of the estimated final payment amount will be made as soon as practicable after the October 15, 2021 deadline; the second and final installment is expected to be made by the end of December 2021.
The agreement designated the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), as the entity responsible for administering the fund and distributing the funds to the eligible survivors. WJRO and the Claims Conference will conduct extensive outreach to potential applicants.
The application can be found here or by sending an email to LuxembourgFund@claimscon.org.
In addition to the payment program to Holocaust survivors, the agreement also commits dedicated resources to Holocaust memorialization, remembrance, research, and education. The agreement also addresses key restitution issues including dormant bank accounts and insurance, as well as looted art. Click here to read more about the agreement and coverage of the historic agreement signing.
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.
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