German Judge Avoids Punishment for Helping Survivors Get Pensions

(JTA) — 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.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

German Judge Avoids Punishment for Helping Survivors Get Pensions

Thank you!

This article has been sent!