Germany approves retroactive pensions for forced workers

The German Bundestag unanimously passed legislation approving back payments of so-called “ghetto pensions” for Jewish survivors.

The law, reflecting years of negotiations, was approved by Germany’s federal government in April and sent to the Bundestag. It requires retroactive payments of a few hundred euros per month going as far back as July 1, 1997. Reportedly, about 50,000 people are eligible for the pensions, including about 13,000 in Israel.

Survivors forced to work in Nazi ghettos had to wait until 2002 for any kind of pension. The aim of the new legislation was to find a more just compensation for both slave laborers and those who were paid at the time. Applicants will receive retroactive payments back to 1997. — jta