WASHINGTON, DC, December 15, 2014- France has agreed to pay $60 million to Holocaust survivors who were deported by France’s state rail company to death camps during the Nazi occupation, according to an agreement negotiated by Covington’s Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat. The $60 million payment by France to the United States will supplement reparations paid by France to their own citizens since 1948.
Ambassador Eizenstat, who serves as the U.S. Secretary of State’s special adviser for Holocaust issues, signed the bi-lateral agreement on behalf of the U.S., along with his French counterpart, Ambassador for Human Rights Patrizianna Sparacino-Thiellay, in the Treaty Room of the State Department, on December 8. “This is another measure of justice for the harms of one of history’s darkest eras,” Ambassador Eizenstat said.
Under the terms of the agreement, which must be approved by the French National Assembly, the U.S. government will be solely responsible for distributing the $60 million compensation fund to eligible claimants. The agreement is expected to result in payments for up to several thousand American, Israeli, and other non-French Holocaust survivors around the world.
“France recognizes that Americans and other foreigners deported during the Holocaust have not been able to gain access to the French pension program, and has agreed to compensate them through this agreement,” according to a statement released by the State Department.
Head of Covington’s international practice, Ambassador Eizenstat is a former deputy secretary of the Treasury, undersecretary of state for economic affairs, undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, and ambassador to the European Union during the Clinton Administration.
During the Clinton Administration, Ambassador Eizenstat was also the special representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust issues, and negotiated more than $8 billion in recoveries for Holocaust survivors in negotiations with Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, and several countries in Central Europe.
For more information on the agreement, click here.