France will compensate Holocaust survivors

France confirmed Friday it has agreed to compensate Holocaust survivors orphaned during the Nazi occupation.

There are between 8,000 and 13,000 Holocaust orphans now living in the country. During the Second World War, about 76,000 Jews were deported to Germany. Only 2,500 returned.

People orphaned because of mass deportation can choose between a monthly payment of 3,000 francs (about $425 US), or a one time sum of 180,000 francs (about $25,600 US).

The idea of compensation was put forward by the Matteoli commission. Three years ago it launched the first French study into seized Jewish assets.

Earlier this year the commission reported that over 90 per cent of assets taken by the Nazis and French collaborators have either been returned or paid for.

France still has 1.4 billion francs in unclaimed funds. Financial institutions can add another billion to that total.

The money is being invested in a "National Foundation for Memory" to teach future generations about the Holocaust.