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May 27, 9:40 AM EDT

Payments start to child survivors of Holocaust


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BERLIN (AP) -- Child survivors of the Holocaust have begun receiving additional financial assistance from Germany under a landmark agreement reached last year.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said Wednesday the $190 million fund represents symbolic financial compensation to acknowledge the unique trauma and hardship endured by child Holocaust survivors.

The conference says payments of 2,500 euros ($2,715) are being made to the first 21,600 survivors in 52 countries.

Julius Berman, president of the Claims Conference, says these people suffer from the cumulative effect of their experience.

He says they "endured devastating separation from parents, witnessed unimaginable atrocities, suffered from malnutrition and hunger, and lived through other persecution that stole their childhoods."

Germany has paid around 70 billion euros ($95 billion) in compensation for Nazi crimes, with ongoing annual negotiations.

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