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Oct 2011 Journal

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The Ghetto Fund: A new directive

At the end of July, the German government introduced a new directive which significantly improves the entitlements of Holocaust survivors who worked in Nazi-controlled ghettos during the Second World War.

Previously, former ghetto workers could receive either a ghetto pension (known in German by the acronym ZRBG) or a one-time payment of €2,000 (approximately £1,700) from the Ghetto Fund. Under the terms of the new directive, it is now possible to receive both payments.

The Ghetto Fund was originally introduced in October 2007 due to long delays in processing applications for a ghetto pension. It was estimated that 50,000 Holocaust survivors worldwide were eligible to apply. Of the 70,000 claims submitted for a ZRBG pension, 61,000 were originally rejected.

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 reapply, even if they have recently received another form in the post.

Anyone who receives a ghetto pension will automatically be sent details and an application form to claim the Ghetto Fund.

The BADV can be contacted at 53221 Bonn, Germany or by telephone on 0049 22899 7030 1324. The AJR can assist with completing and notarising these forms. Claim forms and further information about the Ghetto Fund are also available at http://www.badv.bund.de/002_menue_oben/007_english/005_ghettowork/index.html

Michael Newman

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