Jews awarded pension for Nazi forced labour

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The Independent Online

A German federal court yesterday ruled that two Jews who were forced by the Nazis to work in ghettos have a right to a pension for their labour, setting the stage for thousands of others to receive payments.

The Federal Social Affairs Court in Kassel ruled that the two qualified for pensions because, although they did not receive financial compensation for their work, they received food and other items – meaning the German government was responsible for them. The two plaintiffs, whose names were not released by the court, did cleaning and washing in a ghetto in Poland.

The ruling sets a precedent for some 70,000 people forced by the Nazis to work in ghettos, or their descendants, to make claims. Most would be able to claim payments of €150 (£130) per month, backdated to 1 July 1997.

The payments could add up to more than €1bn, which would come out of Germany's federal pension programme. The Jewish Claims Conference, which administers compensation payments, welcomed the court's decision.

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