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Germany approves increase in Holocaust education, support for survivors as global antisemitism continues to rise

Germany's Federal Ministry of Finance has expanded its budget for Holocaust education and care of Holocaust survivors, following requests from Claims Conference

Itshak Zaslawski (82) a Holocaust survivor from Kherson, Ukraine attends the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremon at the local Police station in the northern town of Katzrin, Golan Heights, May 6, 2024. (Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90)

An extra €51 million ($56 million) has been earmarked for Holocaust education, along with a €105 million ($114 million) increase in funding for social welfare services for survivors.

According to Ynet News, the funding will include acute assistance for survivors for the next two years.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) offers a range of vital services to elderly Holocaust survivors. These services include home care, food packages, transportation to medical appointments and access to social events. This support is intended to ensure that elderly Holocaust survivors can live with dignity and maintain their well-being.

Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, special negotiator for the Claims Conference Negotiations Delegation, thanked the German government for helping to “fortify our collective commitment to survivors while also helping to ensure that the atrocities of the past are remembered and not repeated.”

There are some 245,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors around the world today, according to a recent demographic report by the Claims Conference. The study identified Jewish Holocaust survivors in over 90 countries, half of whom currently live in Israel. An estimated 100,000 Holocaust survivors will benefit from the increase in support from Germany.

Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza has seen a dramatic surge in antisemitism across the globe. In several countries, antisemitic attacks have escalated by 500% or more, with British police reporting a 1350% increase in incidents across the United Kingdom.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported a surge in antisemitic content of more than 900% on 𝕏 since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and subsequent war, as well as more than 1,000 physical attacks and acts of vandalism and harassment in the United States alone.

The ADL stated: “In the months since the October 7th, 2023, terrorist attack in Israel, the global Jewish community has witnessed an increase in antisemitic activity, unprecedented in recent years. For many in and around Jewish communities, this period has felt inherently different, a sentiment that has raised several critical questions about the current scope, nature, and implications of antisemitism.”

ADL researchers examined the increase in antisemitic attitudes among young people and students, in particular. There has been a documented rise in the denial of the events of Oct. 7, mirroring Holocaust denial and further highlighting the need for education.

The Economist reported this month that 20% of respondents between 18-29 in a US poll now believe the Holocaust is a myth, compared with 8% of those aged 30-44.

Claims Conference Vice President Greg Schneider emphasized the growing need to invest in education in this current climate.

“In this time of growing Holocaust denial and distortion, it is critical that we secure a robust foundation for Holocaust education to ensure current and future generations alike have access and opportunities to truly understand the lessons of the Holocaust.”

Jo Elizabeth has a great interest in politics and cultural developments, studying Social Policy for her first degree and gaining a Masters in Jewish Philosophy from Haifa University, but she loves to write about the Bible and its primary subject, the God of Israel. As a writer, Jo spends her time between the UK and Jerusalem, Israel.

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