ADL Welcomes New U.S.-France Compensation Program for Holocaust Victims

New York, NY, November 3, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a new U.S.-France compensation program for Holocaust victims deported from Nazi-occupied France during World War II. 

The program was established by a U.S.-France agreement to provide up to $60 million to compensate deportees from the U.S. and around the world who were not eligible to access the French pension program established in 1946 until now.  Today is the opening of the claims process being led by the State Department, which will receive claims and distribute funds.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, who is currently in Paris for a series of meetings with government officials and Jewish community leaders, issued the following statement:

We commend the governments of the United States and France, which worked in good faith to close gaps that were found in the compensation program, and the French Parliament for approving the agreement.  The timely implementation of this agreement reflects a commitment to urgently help victims who were excluded for decades from the French Holocaust victims’ compensation program.

No amount of money could ever make up for the horrific injustice done to these victims and their families. But agreements like this provide some modest redress, an acknowledgement of their pain. Governments and institutions have a responsibility to leave no stone unturned – even 70 years after the Holocaust – in seeking every possible measure of justice for Holocaust victims.

While this agreement may represent closure on the cases of these deportees, the collective responsibility of all governments, related institutions and individuals to confront the past and to promote its lessons going forward never ends.

The agreement between the U.S. and France was reached in December 2014 and officially went into force on November 1. The State Department launched an online portal to application forms and other information about who is eligible to apply. This new program supplements the coverage of deportees and their orphans living in the United States, Israel and other countries and means that France’s compensation regime now covers the full range of deportees and victims around the world.

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