Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

German Judge Avoids Punishment for Helping Survivors Get Pensions

— A German judge who landed in legal trouble after helping Holocaust survivors apply for ghetto pensions has settled the case against him out of court.

The North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Justice announced the settlement on Tuesday. In its statement, the ministry said that as part of the agreement with Jan-Robert von Renesse, neither side would discuss the details of the case or its settlement. The disciplinary charges have been dropped.

Jewish and other leaders led by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany had increasingly pressed the case for von Renesse, who was facing possible fines or other punishment. The judge had taken it upon himself to assist Holocaust survivors in applying for ghetto pensions.

He had been accused of causing “reputational damage of the social jurisprudence” after it emerged that von Renesse had questioned the rejection of ghetto pension applications and intervened to help applicants, interviewing more than 120 Holocaust survivors in Israel.

Welcoming the news on Tuesday, pro-Israel activist and Green Party legislator Volker Beck said he thought von Renesse deserved Germany’s highest honor, an Order of Merit, rather than a disciplinary hearing.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.