Judges award pensions to Holocaust survivors

26th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 July 2007, Kassel, Germany (dpa) - Holocaust survivors have won German state pensions in two landmark cases Thursday that are likely to expand the number of beneficiaries, 62 years after the end of World War Two. The Federal Social Security Tribunal in Kassel ruled in favour of two Jewish men who had appealed against rejections of their pension claims. Germany pays monthly old-age honorary stipends to tens of thousands of victims of the Nazis, typically those who spent at least six months in one of Nazi

26 July 2007

Kassel, Germany (dpa) - Holocaust survivors have won German state pensions in two landmark cases Thursday that are likely to expand the number of beneficiaries, 62 years after the end of World War Two.

The Federal Social Security Tribunal in Kassel ruled in favour of two Jewish men who had appealed against rejections of their pension claims.

Germany pays monthly old-age honorary stipends to tens of thousands of victims of the Nazis, typically those who spent at least six months in one of Nazi Germany's concentration camps.

The sum is calculated according to the length of their persecution.

The tribunal said Thursday that in one case, a man's persecution had begun at the point when the Nazis forced him to wear a yellow Star of David on his sleeve after German forces overran his home town, Bedzin in Poland, in September 1939.

The tribunal overruled junior judges who had doubted whether he should obtain a credit for this part of his ordeal. His lawyer said thousands of claimants would benefit from the ruling.

In the other case, an 82-year-old Israeli who was confined to a Jewish ghetto in Trans-Dniestr, part of the Soviet Union, during its occupation by pro-Nazi Romanian forces won pension credits for that ordeal.

Pension officials had told him Holocaust pensions were not available to Soviets and were only given to people in places invaded by the Germans. Romania was an Axis ally of Nazi Germany. The man was a Soviet citizen for 70 years.

The tribunal ruled that it was not necessary to be a German- speaker to file claim for a Holocaust pension.

AP

Subject: German news

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