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Germany committing millions to vaccinate Holocaust survivors

Germany committing millions to vaccinate Holocaust survivors
© Greg Nash

Germany's government will contribute more than $13 million to help vaccinate Holocaust survivors around the world as part of an agreement with a U.S.-based organization representing survivors of the genocide.

The Associated Press reported that the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, based in New York, announced the agreement Wednesday, in which Germany's government will provide $13.5 million to ensure that Holocaust survivors in many countries will have access to vaccines in a timely fashion.

The concerns stem from worries that COVID-19 poses a greater danger to Holocaust survivors in part due to their age as well as longstanding medical conditions many still face resulting from the Holocaust.

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Officials with the Conference told the AP that thousands of survivors in Ukraine are thought to still be waiting for the vaccine, while others in the U.S. and Israel are also facing difficulties, some of which stems from unfamiliarity with online scheduling systems.

“It’s generally the most vulnerable ones who have the least access, the least family support. These are the ones who have the potential to be left behind,” Greg Schneider, the Conference's executive vice president, told the AP.

“We need to be there for them, no matter what country. No matter what,” he added.

The $13.5 million is just a small fraction of the more than $80 billion Germany has paid in amends so far for its actions during the Holocaust, during which more than 6 million Jews and millions of others were killed in concentration camps.