Germany will compensate Jews from Algeria who experienced persecution during World War II, a report in Haaretz said Monday. Victims who experienced persecution will receive payments of 2,250 euros (about $2,800). Some 3,500 such individuals live in Israel, the report said, and the payments will be made before this summer.
This is the first time Jews from Algeria will receive compensation for their suffering during the Holocaust era. Algeria was a French colony during the war years, and was controlled by the Vichy government, the puppet alliance government imposed on France by the Nazis.
Speaking to Haaretz, Greg Schneider, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, said that the payment was “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.”
There were approximately 130,000 Jews in Algeria during the war years, and many experienced discrimination, forced closure of their stores and businesses, confiscation of property, ejection from schools and universities, and in some cases even deportation to concentration camps. Some 25,000 are still believed to be alive, mostly in France, according to the Claims Conference.