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A 77-year-old Holocaust survivor living in Israel was awarded Monday a 50 percent increase in pension payments by the German Finance Ministry due to a worsening of her current medical state.
The elderly woman's lawyer, Natan Scheftelowitz, had claimed that her present illness was a direct consequence of her experiences as an inmate in a concentration camp - a fact confirmed by medical investigations conducted in Israel at Kupat Holim Clalit and later approved by German doctors.
The woman, who did not want to be named, was born in 1928 and lived in the town of Darmstadt in Hessen. She moved to Israel after the war.
Scheftelowitz, who has represented numerous Holocaust survivors, maintains that German law recognizes the need to compensate survivors for their deteriorating health if it can be proved that there is a clear connection to past circumstances.
"Until now, though, the relevant authorities have managed to restrict extra payments by asserting that old age was the sole cause of their aggravated health situation," he told The Jerusalem Post. "We have successfully shown that although this woman did suffer from unrelated illnesses, her insomnia and depression are clearly linked to the Nazi persecution."
This decision means that she will now receive a monthly pension increase of 510 to 750 euros, as well as a retroactive payment of 5,500 euros from the time the case was first submitted three years ago.
Scheftelowitz noted that this ruling could have wider ramifications. "It is important for survivors in similar situations to realize that may be legally entitled to further compensation."