After 80 years, survivors of the “Kindertransport” evacuation of Jewish children from Nazi Germany and elsewhere in Europe before World War II will receive compensation from the German government.
The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also known as the Claims Conference, said the German government agreed to pay each person still alive a one-time compensation of 2,500 euros ($2,800), according to Haaretz.
The Kindertransport rescue effort sent nearly 10,000 children, most of them Jewish, from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Free City of Danzig to the United Kingdom ― without their parents or other family members. It began in December 1938 and continued until just before the war began in Europe in September 1939.
About 1,000 of those children are estimated to still be alive, according to the Claims Conference. The fund for survivors will begin taking requests for compensation on Jan. 1.
The payment is a “symbolic recognition of their suffering,” Claims Conference negotiator Greg Schneider told The Associated Press. “In almost all the cases the parents who remained were killed in concentration camps in the Holocaust and they have tremendous psychological issues.”
The children of Kindertransport also have been honored of late with an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in London. The exhibit, titled “Remembering the Kindertransport: 80 Years On,” runs until February and features some survivors, now in their 80s and 90s, offering “their testimony through the medium of film” and sharing “stories of rupture, loss and hope.”
The exhibition also features personal objects and artifacts that survivors brought with them from their homelands, according to the museum’s website.