“We’re dealing with people who weren’t even born during the Holocaust,” he said, adding that negotiators used Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic. “They still recognize their moral responsibility.”
The German Embassy in Washington did not immediately comment.
Ms. Khusid, who moved to the United States in 2010 to live near her daughter, is one of an estimated 4,500 Holocaust survivors who lived through the siege of Leningrad and is eligible for a pension, the Claims Conference said.
The pensions will pay an annual benefit of about $5,200 or 4,500 euros, according to the group.
An additional 2,000 Holocaust survivors who hid in France and Romania will also qualify for the pensions, which the organization said had an income-eligibility scale — the annual limits are about $52,000, €45,000 in Europe and 168,000 shekels in Israel.
Mr. Eizenstat, a former U.S. deputy treasury secretary, pointed out that more than 50 percent of all Holocaust survivors were currently living at or near poverty levels. The problem, he said, is particularly acute in Eastern Europe.
“Many of these have no extended families,” he said. “These pensions are lifelines. We’re talking about people who have to choose between food and medicine and some socialization.”
An additional 1,700 survivors who were children during the Holocaust and had previously received one-time payments will now be eligible for supplemental hardship payments of €1,200 in 2021 and 2022, the organization said.