Holocaust Survivors Win Landmark Pension Cases | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 26.07.2007
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Germany

Holocaust Survivors Win Landmark Pension Cases

A German social security court ruled in favor of two Jewish Holocaust survivors Thursday. The rulings will likely expand the number of Holocaust survivors eligible for benefits from Germany.

A Holocaust survivor arrives for the annual ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial

Some Holocaust victims get German pensions

Two Jewish men appealed the rejection of their pension claims to the Federal Social Security Tribunal in Kassel. On Thursday, the tribunal overruled lower court decisions and said the men were entitled to claims. The ruling comes 62 years after the end of World War II.

Germany pays monthly stipends to tens of thousands of victims of the Nazis, most of them people who spent at least six months in one of Nazi Germany's concentration camps.

The stipends are calculated based on the length of the person's persecution.

Thousands could benefit from rulings

Yellow stars at an exhibit in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem

Jews were forced to wear a yellow star by the Nazi regime

The first case involved a man who contested when his persecution started. He said it began when Nazis forced him to wear a yellow Star of David on his sleeve. That occurred after German forces invaded his hometown in Poland in September 1939.

The tribunal ruled the man should obtain a credit for this part of his ordeal. The man's lawyer said thousands of people would benefit from the ruling.

The second case involved an 82-year-old Israeli who was confined to the Jewish ghetto in Trans-Dniester, part of the Soviet Union. The area was controlled by pro-Nazi Romanian forces.

The man was a Soviet citizen for 70 years. He was told Holocaust pensions were not available to Soviets and were only given to people in places invaded by German troops. The tribunal overruled this decision, saying the man was entitled to a Holocaust pension.

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