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More Holocaust survivors qualify for pensions

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More Holocaust survivors qualify for pensions
Photo: DPA
09:50 CET+01:00
More than 16,000 Holocaust survivors who were told for decades they did not suffer for long enough to get German pensions, will now receive monthly payments after rules on qualification were changed.

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany said on Monday that it had persuaded the German government to reduce the minimum time that people had to prove they had been in a “ghetto, in hiding or living under false identity” in order to qualify for payments.

Until now people had to have been living in such circumstances for at least 18 months to qualify for monthly pensions of between €260 and €300 – this has now been reduced to 12 months, bringing around 8,000 people into the scheme.

Another pension of €240 (or €200 for those in the former Soviet bloc) for those survivors now older than 75 who were in a ghetto for less than 12 months but more than three, has also been introduced.

This will affect another 8,000 people over the next few years, particularly those who endured the Budapest Ghetto, the conference said.

“These liberalisations will largely affect child survivors, whose special plight has been a primary focus of recent discussions between the Claims Conference and the German Ministry of Finance,” the conference said in a statement.

It is thought the changes will cost the German government at least €485 million over the coming decade.

The programs affected by the negotiations have paid out about €2.6 billion in compensation to more than 109,000 Holocaust survivors since 1995.

Since its founding in 1951, the Claims Conference has collected billions from the German government under different programs to compensate Holocaust survivors.

The Local/mdm

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