Germany has agreed to one-time payments for survivors, primarily Jews, who were evacuated from Nazi Germany as children, many of whom never saw their parents again, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Monday. The New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said the government had agreed to payments of $2,800 to those still alive from among the 10,000 people who fled on the so-called "Kindertransport," the AP reports. This year is the 80th anniversary of beginning of the transport of the children to Britain from Nazi Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
About 1,000 survivors are thought to be alive today, with about half living in Britain, and the payment is seen as a "symbolic recognition of their suffering," Claims Conference negotiator Greg Schneider says. "In almost all the cases the parents who remained were killed in concentration camps in the Holocaust and they have tremendous psychological issues." Following the Nazis' anti-Jewish pogrom in November 1938 known as Kristallnacht, the British government agreed to allow an unspecified number of Jewish children as refugees from Nazi Germany or territories it had annexed. Jewish groups inside Nazi Germany planned the transports, and the first arrived in Harwich on Dec. 2, 1938, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (France has compensated Holocaust survivors who were sent to death camps on French trains.)