Romania Agrees to Pay New Reparations to Holocaust Survivors in Deal With Israel

The Romanian government will now recognize Israeli documents which attest to a survivor having been in Romania during the Holocaust

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The Holocaust memorial in Bucharest, Romania.
The Holocaust memorial in Bucharest, Romania.Credit: Avishai Taicher
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

Romania will pay reparations worth up to 2,500 shekels ($745) a month to Romanian Holocaust survivors for the rest of their lives, following an agreement between the Israeli and Romanian governments.

The agreement, which is expected to be signed in the next few days, will have Romania recognize Israeli documents provided by the Holocaust Survivors' Rights Authority in the Social Equality Ministry, which attest to a survivor having been in Romania during the war. The negotiations over the agreement lasted for months, the ministry said.

Until now, the Romanian government did not recognize such documents from Israel, so survivors needed to present official Romanian documents or obtain them from the Romanian archives.

Former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at Elie Wiesel Memorial in Bucharest in June.Credit: Mark Neyman/GPO

The Holocaust Survivors' Rights Authority estimates that about 15,000 Romanian survivors will be eligible to receive the allowance, which is expected to range between 1,500 shekels ($450) to 2,500 shekels depending on the amount of time the survivor spent in Romania between 1940 and 1945.  

These survivors, who are or were Romanian citizens, will now be eligible for payments from the Romanian government in addition to payments they receive from Israel and other countries, such as Germany.

The agreement will also apply to over 1,200 survivors from Bucharest who immigrated to Israel after October 1, 1953, and who until now were only eligible for a yearly stipend. This has now been increased from 4,000 shekels a year to 6,500 shekels.

A memorial for Romanian Jews who perished in the Holocaust in Bucharest in 2020.Credit: Mountain Cubs / Shutterstock

The agreement does not include survivors of the Bucharest Ghetto, because it was recognized last November as an “open ghetto” by the Germany, making these survivors entitled to retroactive benefits and payments from the German government. The German designation regarding Bucharest made survivors from there eligible for a 600 Euro monthly stipend.

Romanian survivors are now also entitled to payments from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, known better as the Claims Conference, as well as additional payments for survivors from the Israeli government. These monthly payments can reach a total of 11,729 shekels, depending on the condition and financial situation of the survivors. This may be retroactive to July 1, 1991 – and is in addition to a one-time compensation payment between 150,000 shekels to 200,000 shekels, which the widows and heirs of these survivors may also be entitled to.

In January, the Claims Conference announced that 6,500 survivors from the siege of Leningrad who are from French or Romanian descent will now receive a 375 Euro monthly stipend. About 2,00 of these survivors live in Israel.

Questions on the matter may be directed to the Holocaust Survivors’ Rights Authority at *5105.

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