Marking the 80th anniversary of the Kindertransport that sent 10,000 Jewish children and teens from Nazi-occupied lands to England, the German government will make one-time payments of $2,800 to survivors.
The children were sent away after the Kristallnacht pogroms of Nov. 9-10, 1938, in which thousands of Jewish businesses, synagogues, and homes were burned or destroyed throughout Germany and Austria and the first Jews were taken to concentration camps. Most youngsters were taken in by families in England.
The funds were earmarked following negotiations between the German government and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany for survivors who suffered trauma as a result of being separated from parents and families, most of whom they never saw again.
Applications for the Kindertransport Fund became available Jan. 1, 2019. Prior receipt of payments under compensation programs does not exclude claimants from receiving this new benefit.
Eligibility requirements, which were determined by the German government, include the following: recipients had to have been under 21 years of age and not been part of a transport organized by the German government to escape potentially threatening persecution by German forces; they were transported from within the German Reich or territories occupied or annexed by them; and they were transported between Nov. 9, 1938, and Sept. 1, 1939, or received approval for transport during that time.
Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County CFO Mark Hauerstock said that the conference estimates there are only about 1,000 eligible survivors and half of them still live in Great Britain. He said after consulting with JFS’ Holocaust services coordinator Fay Ross, it is believed there is only one eligible survivor in Middlesex.
Amy Dorfman, director of programs and services at Monmouth County’s Jewish Family and Children’s Services, said so far the agency has been able to locate two living Kindertransport survivors.
Applications can be downloaded from the Claims Conference website at claimscon.org/what-we-do/compensation/apply-for-compensation. Representatives at either family service agency are available to assist. For Middlesex call 732-777-1940; Monmouth, 732-774-6886.