In 2007 the German government established a compensation fund to recognize Holocaust victims who carried out work “without force” during their internment in a Nazi-era ghetto. The fund’s one-time payment of €2,000 was created to acknowledge ghetto survivors who had otherwise been rejected for German Social Security payments (known as the Ghetto Pension under the ZRBG law) and it came as a response to intense international pressure spearheaded by the Claims Conference.
The one-time payment of €2,000, known the Ghetto Fund and administered by Germany’s BADV federal office, and the monthly Ghetto Pension awards were mutually exclusive. Ghetto survivors could receive one or the other but not both. The two types of payments included provisions to implement this mutual exclusion.
Recent changes in German law now allow eligible Jewish survivors to receive both types of payments to recognize their work in a Nazi-era ghetto. Ghetto survivors who have never yet applied to the Ghetto Fund or the Ghetto Pension should do so at once. (PLEASE NOTE: THE BADV’S GHETTO FUND IS NOT A NEW PROGRAM.)
Many potential claimants are being contacted proactively by German BADV or ZRBG offices that are alerting them to the change in the former exclusion clauses. The Claims Conference is reaching out to survivors of Nazi ghettos and to the agencies that work with them in an effort to ensure that every potential claimant has a chance to claim payments from both the Ghetto Fund and the Ghetto Pension structures.
The Claims Conference is not involved in the administration, implementation or processing of applications for the Ghetto Pension or the Ghetto Fund. The information presented herein is intended for information purposes only and solely as a general guide. The information is not intended as legal advice. It is a summary of specific issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the programs and policies of the agencies or governments mentioned. The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individual situations differ and recipients are urged to seek individual advice. Individuals seeking specific information on a program are urged to contact the relevant program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. While the Claims Conference provides information on a general basis to various help and assistance centers, each help and assistance center is solely responsible for the advice provided by it. To the best of our knowledge the information is correct as of the date of this document and this information may change subsequent to the said date – February 5, 2012