Israel has successfully negotiated with Germany’s Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs to improve pension payments to Jews who were forced to work in Nazi ghettos.
A formal announcement is expected later this month, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Cabinet visit Israel for their annual joint meeting and talks, initiated in 2008.
The adjustment would affect approximately 13,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel who applied for the pension after 1997 and who had received retroactive payments for a maximum of four years. Under the proposed change, all applicants, whether forced to work or paid, will be eligible for retroactive payments back to 1997, even if this exceeds four years. The average payment per person would be about $20,500, according to Der Spiegel magazine.
German Deputy Labor Minister Jörg Asmussen introduced the proposed change in the law on behalf of Labor Minister Andrea Nahles during recent meetings with an Israeli delegation to Berlin, the magazine reported.
There are separate compensation programs for surviving slave laborers and for those who were paid at the time. The proposed change would apply to both groups.