German court limits payments to WWII victims

The German Social Court ruled that those forcibly held in ghettos could not receive more than four years of retroactive pay.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
February 8, 2012 22:56
Warsaw Ghetto monument in Poland

Warsaw Ghetto monument Poland 311 (R). (photo credit: Agencja Gazeta/Reuters)

 
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Recipients of Germany’s “ghetto pensions” will not receive retroactive payments from 1997, a German court decided on Tuesday.

The German Social Court ruled that those forcibly held in ghettos during World War II could not receive more than four years of retroactive pay, the maximum in the country’s social security guidelines.

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Jewish groups hoped survivors that joined the pension program in 2010 would be able to receive 13 years of retroactive compensation.

“Ghetto survivors endured the most horrific conditions possible while laboring just to stay alive,” said Julius Berman, the chairman of the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, better known as the Claims Conference.

“In their old age, these additional payments could help bring them the security and recognition that they were denied so many decades ago. We appeal to the German government and to the German Bundestag to look for a political solution.”

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