Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany is the single largest organization in the world working to secure compensation, restitution and assistance for survivors of the Holocaust or the heirs of victims. The mission of the Claims Conference over its history has always been to secure what the organization considers a small measure of justice for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.
The Claims Conference has pursued this goal since 1951 through negotiations with the German government that provide for payments directly to individual survivors and grants to social welfare organizations serving survivors. Through the Successor Organization, the organization seeks the return or restitution of Jewish property lost during the Holocaust in the territory of the former East Germany and uses a portion of these proceeds to support Shoah Research, Education, and Documentation projects.
As a result of these negotiations, the German government has paid more than $70 billion in indemnification for suffering and losses resulting from Nazi persecution. Claims Conference negotiations have also resulted in the disbursement of funds from German and Austrian industry, as well as the Austrian government. The organization continues to negotiate with representatives of Germany and Austria as well as with representatives of industry and banks.
The Claims Conference remains painfully aware that the destruction of Jewish life during the Holocaust can never be made whole. However, the organization will continue to keep its focus on contemporary issues of concern to survivors and to the worldwide Jewish community.
The Claims Conference has supported the production of the Core Exhibition of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews through a grant for the Holocaust gallery.
This museum is vital in helping remember such a historically important Jewish community. But as beautiful, educational, and moving as the museum is, it cannot ever bring back the world that was and the world that was destroyed. And we must ensure that this monument to Polish Jewry – this remembrance of how they lived and how they died – functions as a reminder of that to all its visitors.
Julius Berman, Board Chairman, The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany