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Germany ups cash for Holocaust survivors

    The German government has pledged significant increases in contributions towards the care of Holocaust survivors following negotiations with the Claims Conference.

    Julius Berman, chairman of the New York-based restitution body, said that the agreement was "vital" to addressing the growing welfare needs of ageing survivors.

    The German government doubled its contribution for home care from £48 million last year to £96 million this year and has agreed to give around a total of £350 million over the following three years.

    Greg Schneider, the conference's executive vice-president, said: "We can enable more survivors to remain in their homes, living in familiar surroundings while getting the services they need."

    This year the conference is committing around £168 million to care of Nazi victims in 46 countries, which apart from the German government contributions is funded by the sale of assets seized by the Nazis from Jews in East Germany.

    The German government has also agreed to review eligibility for a £261-a-month pension for ghetto survivors previously restricted to those who had spent at least 18 months in a ghetto.

    It said it would now look at claims on a case by case basis.

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