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West Germany and Israel Agree on Reparation Deal, 1952

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: September 8th, 1952

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#onthisday, 1952, West Germany and Israel agree on a reparation deal that essentially saves new Israeli economy. Menachem Begin leads mass protests against the decision in honor of the six million Jews lost in the Holocaust.

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The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany was to be formally signed by September 10th, but the news of the deal broke out #onthisday.

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West Germany was to pay Israel for the costs of "resettling so great a number of uprooted and destitute Jewish refugees" after the war, and to compensate individual Jews, via the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, for losses in Jewish livelihood and property resulting from Nazi persecution

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The basic figure which was put forward was the estimated cost of resettling in Israel the 500,000 Jewish immigrants who, until the latter part of 1951, had immigrated from countries formerly controlled by the German Reich.

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#onthisday, Israel and West Germany agreed to this deal that would see over 3 billion marks paid over the next 14 years.

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Many protests occurred in Israel immediately. Following the Holocaust, Israel's relations with Germany were very tense.

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Israel was also recovering from the War of Independence and was facing a deep economic crisis.

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Unemployment was very high (especially in the ma'abarot camps) and foreign currency reserves were scarce. David Ben-Gurion and his Mapai party took a practical approach and argued that accepting the agreement was the only way to sustain the nation's economy.

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The payments were made to the State of Israel as the heir to those victims who had no surviving family. The money was invested in the country's infrastructure and played an important role in establishing the economy of the new state.

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Text Source: https://web.nli.org.il/sites/NLI/English/collections/personalsites/Israel-Germany/Division-of-Germany/Pages/Reparations-Agreement.aspx


Image Source: https://atlantajewishtimes.timesofisrael.com/israel-holocaust-reparations/

✍: @_tikvah

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#onthisday#judaism#jewish#jewishhistory#otd#otdjh#israel#germany#reparations#Holocaust#NeverAgain#menachembegin#davidbengurion

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