The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that it will soon make additional payments to individuals with approved claims in connection with the Holocaust Deportation Claims Program. Within the next few days, all individuals whose claims were previously approved will receive a letter from the Department notifying them that they will receive an additional payment of 97% of their prior approved claim amount. This amount is based on the funds remaining for approved claims. The letter will provide instructions for receiving the additional payment.
While no payment can provide complete justice for all who were impacted by deportation from France, we hope those affected by one of history’s darkest eras will receive some additional relief from these further payments. The Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, through its International Claims and Investment Disputes Office, has administered the Holocaust Deportation Claims Program since its inception.
The program was established in connection with the U.S.-France Agreement on Compensation for Certain Victims of Holocaust-Related Deportation from France Who Are Not Covered by French Programs, which was concluded in December 2014, following negotiations led by the Office of the Legal Adviser and Office of the Special Envoy on Holocaust Issues. Under the Agreement, France provided a lump-sum of $60 million to the United States to distribute to survivors of deportation, surviving spouses of deportees, and representatives of the estates of survivors and surviving spouses who are no longer living. The Department accepted claims in two filing periods and approved and paid claims that were eligible based on the requirements of the Agreement.
The Department is now nearing completion of the program. The following initial payments were made to those whose claims were deemed eligible under the terms of the program: $204,000 to living survivors of deportation; $51,000 to living surviving spouses of deportees whose deportee spouse died before 1948, and a pro rata amount if the deportee spouse died after 1948; and a portion of those amounts to heirs of survivors and surviving spouses based on how long the relevant survivor or surviving spouse lived. Payments to date on approved claims total $30,028,500. With the additional payment of 97% of their prior approved claim amount, living survivors would receive in total $401,880; living surviving spouses would receive up to $100,470; and heirs of survivors and surviving spouses would receive a portion of these amounts.
The administration of this claims program was a thorough process to the benefit of those long-denied justice. We applaud the willingness of the French government to address this injustice.