Amsterdam Ghetto 'Volunteers' Will Get $2,700 Compensation From Germany

1,000 Apply for Forced Labor Stipends — Many Were Children

By JTA

Published January 21, 2014.
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More than 1,000 people have applied for new compensation money from Germany for labor performed in Amsterdam’s Jewish ghetto during the Holocaust.

The compensation offers a one-time payment of $2,700 to people who lived in three districts of the Dutch capital that served as ghettos for the city’s Jewish community during the German occupation and performed voluntary labor there, the ANP Dutch news agency reported Monday.

The distribution of money for the labor was announced this week by the Dutch Union for Holocaust Survivors, which is known in the Netherlands by its Dutch-language acronym, VBV.

Some 1,200 applicants have submitted requests for payment as compensation for labor performed in the so-called Jodenbuurt in central Amsterdam, the Rivierenbuurt area in the capital’s south and Transvaalbuurt, east of the center, according to VBV.

“Dutch Jews were driven out of their professions and forced into ghettos before their deportation to concentration camps,” VBV Chairwoman Flory Neter told ANP. “In the ghettos of Amsterdam they often did random chores such as sewing bags to feed their families. It wasn’t forced labor but they were coerced to live in the ghettos so it wasn’t voluntary either.”

VBV has negotiated for years with the German government to obtain the compensation and lost a lawsuit against Germany, but was able to obtain the payments in further talks, ANP reported.

Among those eligible for payments are Holocaust survivors who worked in the ghettos as children, Neter also said.


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