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July 16, 2021 12:04 pm
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Luxembourg Holocaust Survivors Encouraged to Apply for Million-Euro Direct Support Program

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Nazi sympathizers parade outside a synagogue in Luxembourg in 1941. The synagogue was destroyed two years later. Photo: Wikipedia.

An agreement reached earlier this year between Luxembourg and an international Jewish organization for payments to survivors of the Holocaust is now operational, with over $1 million available for direct support payments.

Nearly 4,000 Jews lived in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg — a tiny, landlocked country bordered by France, Belgium and Germany — on the eve of the Nazi invasion in 1940. Historians estimate that around half of Luxembourg’s Jewish community were murdered during the Holocaust.

After World War II, around 1,500 Jews returned to Luxembourg and today about 1,200 still reside there.

The agreement inked between Luxembourg and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) in January committed the Luxembourg authorities to make a one-time payment of 1,000,000 euros to directly support Holocaust survivors, which will be distributed equally to approved applicants.

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To be eligible for the program, an applicant must have been persecuted as a Jew by the Nazi regime or their allies between January 1933 to May 1945, and either live in Luxembourg now or have lived there during the period of Nazi rule in Europe.

One survivor praised the agreement for providing concrete recognition of the suffering of Luxembourg’s Jews.

“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,” Marcel I. Salomon, 86, a Luxembourg survivor living in Israel, said in a statement.

In addition to the payment program to Holocaust survivors, who should apply for assistance before an Oct. 15 deadline, 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.

Gideon Taylor — Chair of Operations for WJRO — said that Luxembourg had taken an “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.”

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