«As survivors age their needs are growing ever greater,» said Claims Conference executive vice-president Greg Schneider.
By EYTAN HALON DECEMBER 14, 2019 20:08
One of Germany’s wealthiest families, the Reimanns, will establish a €5 million emergency assistance fund for Holocaust survivors after discovering their connection to the Nazi regime.The Reimann family, owners of Luxembourg-headquartered JAB Holding Company, will provide the funds to the Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) over three years through its newly-established Alfred Landecker Foundation.
Established in 1828, the JAB Holding Company is the owner of a list of consumer, food and fashion companies – including Krispy Kreme, Pret A Manger, Panera Bread and Coty. In March, the Reimann family publicly admitted the links between the company’s precursor Benckiser and the Nazi regime.Historian Dr. Paul Erker, appointed by the family, found that Albert Reimann Sr. and his son Albert Reimann Jr., who ran Benckiser, were both vocal antisemites and ardent supporters of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime.The company’s factories benefited from forced labor, including 200 individuals at Benckiser’s Ludwigshafen plant in the spring of 1942.“We are delighted to partner with the world-respected Claims Conference to help realize our much-needed financial commitment to survivors of the Holocaust,” said Alfred Landecker Foundation chair David Kamenetzky.“This also marks a significant step for the Alfred Landecker Foundation and our ambition of researching and remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust, as well as providing humanitarian assistance for survivors of the Holocaust and former forced labor in World War II.”
The Berlin-based foundation was named after German Jewish accountant Alfred Landecker, who was murdered after being deported from Mannheim in April 1942 to the Izbica ghetto in Poland, which served as a transfer site for the deportation of Jews to the Bełżec and Sobibór extermination camps. Landecker was the father of Emilie Landecker, who had three children with Albert Reimann Jr.Recognizing their history, the Reimann family pledged earlier this year to provide €10m. to support Holocaust survivors and forced laborers at Benckiser.“The funds being provided through the Alfred Landecker Foundation will make a significant difference in the lives of so many who deserve so much,” said Claims Conference president Julius Berman. “Elderly, poor Holocaust survivors need food, medicine and heat in the winter. These funds will enable thousands of survivors to live in dignity.”The Claims Conference said that it will absorb all administrative costs associated with managing and distributing the funds, ensuring that all money reaches Holocaust survivors. A total of €2m.will be provided in 2020, followed by another €2m. in 2021 and €1m. in 2022.“As survivors age their needs are growing ever greater,” said Claims Conference executive vice president Greg Schneider. “Our goal is to identify every funding source available to ensure more care and more programs for survivors. The funding from the Reimann family through the Alfred Landecker Foundation will help bring us closer to that goal.”The Claims Conference, which was established by representatives of 23 international Jewish organizations in 1951, will distribute approximately $350m. in direct compensation to more than 60,000 Holocaust survivors worldwide. A further $550m. will be allocated in grants to over 200 social service agencies providing services for Holocaust survivors.In August, German soccer giant Borussia Dortmund and major companies Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen said they would each contribute €1m. to fund the expansion of Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum.The donations, part of an initiative led by the German Friends of the Yad Vashem Association, will contribute to the establishment of the $50m. Shoah Heritage Campus, a 5,880 sq.m. center to house the museum’s rapidly increasing collection of artworks, artifacts and archives.