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Aug 2002 Journal

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Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Banks to repay charges

British banks have agreed to repay the commission levied on reparations received by Holocaust survivors and refugees. The British Bankers Association (BBA) guidelines, which came into effect on 1 June 2002, also ensure that henceforth charges will not be imposed on any compensation or restitution payment. Those eligible for a repayment are advised to contact their bank with evidence that they are in receipt of reparations and that commission has previously been deducted.

Pensions for ghetto inmates

Following on from the 1997 act granting pension rights to victims interned in the Lodz ghetto, the German parliament has adopted a social security law approving pensions for inmates in all ghettos on the territory of the German Reich.

Applicants will have to show that they were interned in a ghetto and that they were somehow paid for the work they performed. It is generally considered that those aged 14 and upwards at the time will have been paid and will therefore be eligible to receive a pension. Applications received before 30 June 2003 will be backdated to 1997.

Because the new law is a social security provision, those eligible to claim and already in receipt of a state pension should contact their pension authority in writing. Those not in receipt of a state pension should write direct to the German government social security department: Landesversicherungsanstalt, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, Uberseering 10, 2000 Hamburg 60, Germany. Details of lawyers assisting claimants are available from the Central Office for Holocaust Claims.

Further help

Written enquiries should be sent to Central Office for Holocaust Claims (UK), 1 Hampstead Gate, 1A Frognal, London NW3 6AL. For assistance with the completion of application forms, please telephone 020 7431 6161 for an appointment.
Michael Newman

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