Important Information for Holocaust Survivors

Claims Conference Information Notice to Assist Survivors Applying for German Government Ghetto Labor Compensation Fund
Information and application forms issued by the German Government

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CLICK HERE FOR FORMS: http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=news/gp092007

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ENGLISH

GERMAN

RUSSIAN

SPANISH

FRENCH

In September 2007, the German government announced the establishment of a new Ghetto Fund to pay symbolic compensation for work without force in Holocaust-era ghettos.


The Claims Conference is not involved in the administration, implementation or processing of applications for this program.

In this Information Notice, general information is provided regarding the Ghetto Fund and the related application form:

A victim of Nazi persecution may be able to obtain a one-time payment of €2,000 if s/he:

1. Was held in an open or closed ghetto; and
2. Worked “without force” during this period; and
3. This work has not already been taken into account for an old age pension.

PLEASE NOTE

Regarding Question No. 4.4 of the Application Form:

The work inside or outside of the ghetto must have been performed “without force.”

This means that an applicant must either:

have “found the work him- or herself,” in which case the first box under No. 4.4 should be checked, or
have been “placed in th[e] job upon his or her own request,” in which case the second box under No. 4.4 should be checked.
If the applicant was forced to work and checks the third box under No. 4.4, “I was forced to do the work,” the work would constitute forced labor and the applicant WILL NOT qualify for a payment under the Ghetto Fund.

A. General information on the Fund
An application must be made for the one-time payment. The German government does not presently recognize a previous application to German Pensions for Work in Ghettos (“ZRBG”) as an application for this new one-time payment from the Ghetto Fund.

Only survivors themselves, and not heirs of survivors, may apply for a one-time payment from the Ghetto Fund.

However, should an applicant die after submitting an application, the one-time payment may be paid to the surviving spouse or children.

B. Information on the application form
The application form must be:
1. Fully completed; and
2. Signed; and
3. Authenticated.

Regarding Question No. 2:
Confirmation by an official authority
The personal details (requested in Question No.1) also can be confirmed by the Jewish communities or Jewish social service agencies possessing a seal.

Regarding Question No.4.4:
As noted in the box above, the work cannot have been forced labor. The payment in recognition of ghetto work is only awarded for “work” carried out “without force.” This means that the applicants must either have “found the work him- or herself” (the first box under Question No. 4.4), or have been “placed in th[e] job upon his or her own request” (the second box under Question No. 4.4).

Regarding Question No.5:
The period in a ghetto may not already have been taken into account in an old age pension from Germany or any other country.

Regarding Question No.6:
It is important to include the Swift code and the IBAN number with the bank details. The payment in recognition of ghetto work will only be paid to the beneficiary’s account.

Contract of assignment
It is not permissible to obtain payments for ghetto work from both the Ghetto Fund and under the German Pensions for Work in Ghettos (“ZRBG”). The one-time payment of €2,000 must be repaid if a ZRBG pension is awarded. The contract of assignment authorizes the BADV to deduct the €2,000, either in one amount from a retroactive payment or in installments from the monthly ZRBG pension.

The application form should be sent to:
Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen
(Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues)
53221 Bonn

Full details can be obtained at the phone number:
+49 (0) 22899 7030 1324.

There is also a new hotline number available at:
01888 7030 1324

The application form for the Ghetto Fund, issued by the German government’s Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues (“BADV”), is available on the Internet as follows:

In English: English Application form

In German: Antragsformular für die Anerkennungsleistung Ghettoarbeit

Information issued by the German government regarding the Ghetto Fund is available in German at:
http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de
An English translation of the guidelines issued for the Ghetto Fund by the German government is available at:
http://www.bundesfinanzministerium.de
The website for the German government’s Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues (“BADV”) may be found at:
http://www.badv.bund.de/003_menue_links/f0_ghetto/

The information presented in this Notice is intended for informational purposes only. The information is not intended as legal advice and is not legally binding. It is a summary of certain issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the Ghetto Fund program.The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individual situations differ and applicants are urged to seek individual advice. Individuals seeking specific information are urged to contact the Ghetto Fund program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. To the best of our knowledge, the information provided in this notice is correct as of the date of this document, however, this information may change subsequent to the said date – March 13, 2008.

The only definitive documents regarding the Ghetto Fund are those issued by the German government.