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Wednesday, July 15, 1998 Published at 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK


Government announces holocaust payments

Auschwtiz: the fund aims to help victims of the Holocaust

Holocaust survivors living in the UK will share more than £300,000, the government has announced.

Neville Nagler: 500 survivors in the UK are living in needy circumstances
Up to 600 Jewish people living in Britain will be given cash or equipment from the International Fund for Needy Victims of Nazi Persecution set up by the Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

The government contributed £1m to the fund and the remaining £660,000 will provide medical care for survivors in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Moldova.

[ image: Neville Nagler: up to 600 people will benefit]
Neville Nagler: up to 600 people will benefit
The payments are intended partly as a reminder to other nations to follow Britain's lead.

The Director-General of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Neville Nagler, said the organisation was working with other groups to identify the most needy.

He told BBC News 24: "This is a beneficial payment from the British government for people who are suffering medical or psychological trauma as a result of their experience during the Nazi era."

Two-thirds of the money allocated would go towards cash payments as well as being used to provide equipment such as wheelchairs, washing machines and stair-lifts.

The remainder would be set aside for holocaust victims who had yet to come forward.

[ image: Robin Cook announced Britain's contribution last year]
Robin Cook announced Britain's contribution last year
Argentina, Austria, France, the US, and Greece, have also contributed to the fund, which now totals nearly £36m ($57m).

Mr Cook said: "We all have a responsibility to ensure that people who survived the greatest crime of our times do not lack the material support they need during their remaining years.

"We can never erase the scars borne by those who were persecuted by the Nazis. But the fund can at least ensure that they can grow old with dignity, freed from the misery of poverty."

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