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In response to the problems processing applications for a ghetto pension (known in German by the acronym ZRBG), the German government has introduced a Humanitarian Fund in acknowledgment of "Ghetto Work without Force".
The Ghetto Fund makes a one-time payment of €2,000 (approximately £1,600) to Holocaust survivors who worked in ghettos, but not under force, during the Second World War.
It is estimated that 50,000 Holocaust survivors worldwide will be eligible to apply. Of the 70,000 claims previously submitted for a ZRBG pension, 61,000 have been rejected. Survivors who previously submitted a claim for a ghetto pension are eligible for the €2,000 award but those in receipt of such a pension are not entitled.
Because the Ghetto Fund provides compensation for work voluntarily performed in a ghetto, survivors who received awards from slave labour compensation from the German Foundation: Remembrance, Responsibility and Future are also entitled to apply.
Survivors who have already submitted an application form to the Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen (BADV), the government department handling claims to the Ghetto Fund, do not need to submit a new application form or to re-apply, even if they have recently received another form in the post.
The BADV can be contacted at 53221 Bonn, Germany or by telephone 0049 22899 7030 1324. The Central Office is able to assist with completing and notarising these forms. Claim forms and further information about the Fund are also available at www.badv.bund.de