Tuesday, February 06, 2018

25,000 Algerian Jews to receive WWII compensation

From today 25,000 Algerian Jews will be eligible to lodge compensation claims with the Conference on Material Claims against Germany for suffering endured during World War II.  None of the press covering this story has found it odd that the pro-Nazi Vichy French government, not the German, was in charge, but is not being held accountable. The Forward's report is typical:


Algerian Jews had their French citizenship stripped by the Vichy government, which then ruled the area, in 1940. Nuremberg-like laws banned Jews from working as doctors, lawyers, teachers and in government. Children were kicked out of French schools.

On Tuesday, 78 years after they endured suffering that left families penniless and starving, and pariahs in their own country, the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany will begin taking their applications for recognition as survivors, making each eligible for a one-time “hardship grant” and additional services like food vouchers and in-home care.

Each survivor approved will receive a hardship grant of 2,556 euros, the equivalent of roughly $3,100. The euro figure is the equivalent of 5,000 deutschmarks, a sum the Claims Conference negotiated with the German government in 1980. The money will be distributed beginning in July.

The youngest Algerian survivors, born in 1942, would today be 76 years old. Most, however, are in their 80s and 90s, Schneider said. As important as the money is, even more valuable is acknowledgment of their suffering, Schneider told JTA. “They weren’t murdered but there were lots of deprivations” under the anti-Semitic Vichy laws.

“There weren’t extermination camps in Algeria (There were labour camps on the Algerian-Moroccan border - ed) but a person’s childhood was turned upside down because of this persecution targeting Jews. It becomes a huge part of a person’s identity. The experience during the war for so many people defines them, is the seminal experience of their lives. All these decades it’s never been acknowledged,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany.

Read article in full  

Haaretz report 

The New Arab  

DW report
Algerian Jews had their French citizenship stripped by the Vichy government, which then ruled the area, in 1940. Nuremberg-like laws banned Jews from working as doctors, lawyers, teachers and in government. Children were kicked out of French schools.
On Tuesday, 78 years after they endured suffering that left families penniless and starving, and pariahs in their own country, the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany will begin taking their applications for recognition as survivors, making each eligible for a one-time “hardship grant” and additional services like food vouchers and in-home care.
Each survivor approved will receive a hardship grant of 2,556 euros, the equivalent of roughly $3,100. The euro figure is the equivalent of 5,000 deutschmarks, a sum the Claims Conference negotiated with the German government in 1980. The money will be distributed beginning in July.
The youngest Algerian survivors, born in 1942, would today be 76 years old. Most, however, are in their 80s and 90s, Schneider said. As important as the money is, even more valuable is acknowledgment of their suffering, Schneider told JTA. “They weren’t murdered but there were lots of deprivations” under the anti-Semitic Vichy laws.
“There weren’t extermination camps in Algeria but a person’s childhood was turned upside down because of this persecution targeting Jews. It becomes a huge part of a person’s identity. The experience during the war for so many people defines them, is the seminal experience of their lives. All these decades it’s never been acknowledged,” said Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Conference on Material Claims Against Germany.
Read more: https://forward.com/fast-forward/393621/germany-recognizes-algerian-jews-as-holocaust-survivors/

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

German compensation to Algeria's aboriginal Jewish population pales into insignificance when compared to what the denizens of the Muslim orient between Casablanca on the West & Iran{istan}'s eastern frontier, owe US.. It's hardly much of a secret that their muslim 'neighbors' would have cheerfully exterminated all one million of our brothers & sisters if Israel had lost the war of Independence, 1947-49.But the time has come to devise & execute a strategy of righteous retribution against both their Muslim successor states:Who are beneath even the lowest levels of moral comprehension,both in the legal sense or more importantly,at the individual or communal levels. Why should their notoriously dysfunctional, parasitic & bred-in-the-bone-hostile communities in Europe & the Americas be spared the consequences of their own acts? When THEY have actually amplified the same ineradicable behavioral patterns against US & the rest of humanity,that has been religiously injected into them for 14 centuries. Democratically legislated, globally organized, humane repatriation to the Muslim orient on the grand scale is the only solution left to the hapless host societies who allowed the judgment of fools to crush their common sense & any consideration of their own citizens' best interests. If these policies are not executed A.S.A.P. other, darker forces will emerge to do what cannot be avoided. The same ones that are considered deviant, extreme & psychotic to most of US: But are more or less normal and not particularly noticeable to most Muslims because of their own cultural values: No matter where THEY live.

GOOGLE: Norman L. Roth

Sammish said...

I am not sure what to make of the latest German compensation of surviving Jewish Algerians who experience anti-Semitism. Why Germany? Why not the French Government. Why is Germany all of a sudden making amend for its "indirect" past wrong doings through financial transactions. It seems to me as if pain, suffering, and death have monetary value, although the old Algerian Jewish generation who most likely live in Southern France or Ashdod may use this pittance of few thousand Euros, but I am not sure the purpose if it is not for the recognition of wrong doings, which by the way is too late, since most French Jews are contemplating leaving France. But maybe not the few surviving Algerian Jews.

I believe Germany should have compensated the surviving Tunisian Jews and their descendants, because Nazi Germany occupied Tunisia and Tunisian Jews suffered physically the same, if not more,than Algerian and Moroccan Jews did under Vichy regime. Germany should have left France do the bidding for the suffering they perpetrated against their citizens, instead of taking the helm of righteousness to undo the direct French wrongs in Algeria.

Financial compensation aside, France would never face its dark history of Anti-Semitism because there are powerful social network of organizations and groups that have never gave up their deep seated hatred toward Jews for their supposed control of the banks, media and of course French culture. The Front National political party is only the tip of the iceberg and it seems to have morphed to an acceptable far-right party, thanks partly to the stupid third generation of Muslims migrants those parents arrived in the French shores during the 1960's and 1970's and who think they are assimilated French. That's enough to make me sick and that to see that despite all the changes since the great war, some things never change.

Sylvia said...

That could prove to be tricky. First, not all Algerian Jews were French citizens during the war. The decret Cremieux only applied to the 3 districts in French hands at the time of the decree.

Second, there were tens of thousands Moroccan Jews who went to find work in Algeria and were well established there. Many among them fled back to Morocco in 2 big waves, the first during the war, the second during the FLN massacres.
Those among them who were caught were sent to labor camps because as French citizens, they were under French authority and not subjects of the sultan.
So what with this population group who spent the war years both in Algeria and Morocco in terms of compensation?

The other group was that of the Europeans who fled from Europe to seek refuge in Morocco. Many of them were hidden by local community activists, but those who were caught by the French were jailed and sent to camps. There were those who even died there.

Sammish said...

It is interesting that you brought up the second point about the two big out migration waves of Jews. It fits my extended family flights from Algeria to Morocco, first during Vichy regime and second to France then Morocco during and after the war of Algeria's independence.

The irony of my extended family is that some members, and way before the first exodus of WWII, the majority of Jews who left Morocco to Algeria not only to find work as you mentioned, but because of the terrible pogroms of the 1910's in all major cities of Morocco. The one half of my extended family had to flee Nador, Taza and Oujda regions pogroms to settle in Algeria, only to flee back to Rabat during the war. Those who remained in Algeria, some ended up going back to Morocco after a brief passage in France in 1962 and the other stayed in Southern France. The old grandparents and parents are now defunct. This compensation may have arrived too late. They would most likely reject the pittance. They were proud Mizrahi Jews who did not care much about migrating to Israel, that's the price one pays for being too French assimilated or thinking you're exclusively French citizen.