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Germany to pay over £2000 compensation to each Algerian Holocaust victim

Jews living in North Africa between 1940 and 1942 can apply for fund this month

    An Algerian-born French Jew a former synagogue in Algiers, swhich was transformed into a martial arts school, in 2005
    An Algerian-born French Jew a former synagogue in Algiers, swhich was transformed into a martial arts school, in 2005 (Photo: Getty Images)

    Germany has agreed to pay more than £2,000 in compensation to individual Holocaust survivors from Algeria, in the first scheme of its kind.

    Eligible Jews who lived in the country between July 1940 and November 1942 will be entitled to the one-time payment arranged by the Claims Conference, the New York-based body which distributes restitution funds to Holocaust survivors.

    It said the payment would be worth €2,556.46 (£2,264).

    Algeria, a French colony during the Second World War, became part of Vichy France and was later occupied by Nazi Germany. It fell to the British-American invasion of North Africa in November 1942.

    French-Jewish resistance fighters played a crucial part in the invasion when they staged a coup in the city of Algiers on November 8.

    The Claims Conference said approximately 25,000 Algerian-Jewish Holocaust survivors were living around the world, mostly in France, and that it would open a registration centre in Paris this month to help process survivors’ claims.

    Further centres will also opened in Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, it said.

    “Our goal is to help survivors with the registration, a process which is completely free of charge,” said Ruediger Mahlo, Claims Conference Representative in Germany.

    “This payment is a small measure of the justice these survivors deserve, but the recognition is important and we will continue to fight until every survivor has been recognized.”

    The Claims Conference’s executive vice-president Greg Schneider added: “This is a long overdue recognition for a large group of Jews in Algeria who suffered anti-Jewish measures by Nazi allies like the Vichy Regime.

    “The Vichy government subjected these people to restrictions on education, political life, participation in civil society and employment, abolishing French citizenship and singling them out only because they were Jews.”

    Algeria was home to tens of thousands of Jews before the Second World War, but the vast majority emigrated to France and Israel after the country gained independence in 1962.

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