Algerian Jews Finally Eligible for Compensation from Germany

 SA troopers urge a boycott outside Israel's Department Store, Berlin. By Bundesarchiv - CC BY-SA 3.0 de
SA troopers urge a boycott outside Israel's Department Store, Berlin. By Bundesarchiv - CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Jews have been persecuted all over the world, including in one of Africa’s lesser-known countries, Algeria.

The Germans have recently begun to regard Algerian Jews as among those tyrannized under the Nazi régime, and they have offered compensation to those who suffered during Hitler’s reign of terror.

It is a long time coming. Jews within Algeria have not received a spec of compensation for their suffering during the height of WWII in 1940. Those affected by the event are now eligible for a cash gift of €2,556, and it has been estimated that 25,000 people are entitled to compensation.

Algerian Jews suffered during the Nazi occupation of their country. They were not allowed to work in prestigious sectors such as education, media, and finance. Their legal rights as business owners were stripped, and children excluded from school activities.

The initiative has been created in the hope of acknowledging those who were hugely disrupted by past atrocities, and help them realize they are not alone in the world. Greg Schneider, the Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference, says that compensating the Algerian Jews is one of the final steps in remedying the relationship between Germany and the Jewish people. The Jewish Algerians may be the last group to be compensated, as many others have received money over the years.

Great Synagogue of Oran, turned into a Mosque.
Great Synagogue of Oran, turned into a Mosque.

Many survivors reminisce about the hard times experienced during the 1940s when Nazi rule was in effect. Daniel Gal, a fortunate survivor, was kicked out of school as a child and forced to learn exclusively with his Jewish peers. A small school in the town housed Jewish children and taught them, however, the facility was very basic compared to the public institutions that Jews were not allowed to attend. It was an extremely difficult time for the Jewish population.

Israel is currently home to 3,900 Algerian Jews. Daniel Gal is one of many, living safe and happy in his beacon of hope. He is satisfied with the proceedings of the Claims Conference, despite it taking some time to process and set up.

Holocaust victims have not been forgotten. A rightful seventy billion dollars has been rewarded as compensation for their experiences during the Nazi reign. The Claims Conference has been responsible for distributing more than 430 million dollars to 100,000 survivors in a list of countries. The group has been operating since 1952, and do not plan to stop anytime soon. Social Services is their next target. They are adding $500,000 to help improve home care, nutritional and health areas.

The Jewish population has no doubt been through a rollercoaster ride within the past century. Adolf Hitler’s reign put a massive strain on their community which continues long after the fall of the Nazi empire. It is essential to ensure the peace of mind and safety of our fellow Jewish populace.

The Claims Conference will continue to help and consider the needs of their community. Other organizations should not be ignored, however, as the CC is just a smaller part of a much bigger call for assistance.

Over 50 million dollars has been contributed to the Jewish community as compensation for the Holocaust and other disastrous events that took place during WWII. Algerian Jews call for people never to forget these past events, and seemingly they are etched on the minds of many all over the world.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE