Holocaust Restitution

$5.2 Billion German Settlement

In December 1999, the U.S. and German governments announced a historic $5.2 billion settlement to compensate Nazi-era slave and forced laborers. Between June 2001 and August 2004, the first installment of settlement payments went to more than 143,000 survivors, totaling approximately $703 million. These survivors are former slave laborers from concentration camps, many of whom live in the U.S., and more than 2 million former forced laborers, who live primarily in Eastern Europe. In August 2004, the Claims Conference distributed a second payment to survivors and, in a single day that month, sent approximately $401 million to over 130,000 survivors.

Allocation and distribution of the funds was managed by groups representing survivors. After September 30, 2006, the Claims Conference may not make any more payments from the German Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future" under German law. The entire $5.2 billion fund, which includes approximately $4 billion for non-Jewish survivors, is scheduled to be fully disbursed by September 30, 2006. For more information, contact your local Jewish Family and Children's Services Agency, or contact the Claims Conference at (646) 536-9100, or via their website, www.claimscon.org.

In 1999, the State Treasurer sent letters urging German companies with whom his office conducts business to conclude a settlement by the end of 1999. The Treasurer chairs the State's Pooled Money Investment Board, which has about $729 million invested in companies subject to various Holocaust restitution lawsuits. The Treasurer also successfully urged the Boards of both the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) and the State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), which both have billions of dollars invested with German companies, to take a similar stance.