Ghetto: Financial Compensation for Labor in a Ghetto

Ghetto Pensions Act – New Law Clears Way for Retroactive Pension Payments

(As of 21.07.2014)

As proposed by the German Government, the German Bundestag in early June 2014 adopted legislation under which the original Act Regarding the Conditions for Making Pensions Payable on the Basis of Employment in a Ghetto is improved on important points.  The proposed provisions enable all those entitled to a pension based on employment periods in a ghetto to receive such a pension from July 1, 1997, onward.  Originally, this was possible only for pension applications filed on a timely basis by June 2003.

The law furthermore now also provides for other ghettos to be considered which fell within the sphere of influence of the National-Socialist regime (Shanghai, Slovakia, Romania).

The beneficiaries will be contacted directly by the German Pension Insurance organization. 

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and further information on the subject, click the links below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Legislative Amendments Concerning Ghetto Pensions [pdf, 37.37k]

Further Information: Legislative Amendments Concerning Ghetto Pensions [pdf, 49.47k]

Holocaust survivors who voluntarily worked in a ghetto located in a territory occupied by or integrated into the German Reich may apply for two types of compensation payment:

1. Ghetto pension pursuant to ZRBG (law regulating the conditions for pension payments on the basis of employment in a ghetto)

This kind of pension is paid on a monthly basis.  Applications are to be submitted to the German pension insurance agencies and can be filed informally using the following form:

PDF: ZRBG Reconsideration [pdf, 130.66k]

Please use this form if you wish to request a review of a previously denied pension application or if you want to file a new application. For an application for old-age pension, please fill out  page 1 and 2, for widow’s/widower’s pension, please submit Page 1 and 3.

Send the completed form to: 

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund

10704 Berlin


You will find further information about ghetto pensions according to ZRBG as well as important contact information on the website of the German Federal Pension Insurance at

German Federal Pension Insurance – Ghetto Pension

2. Payment to victims of persecution in recognition of work in a ghetto which did not constitute forced labor

This is a one-time payment in the amount of €2,000.  Applications are to be filed with the Federal Office of Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues (BADV). Further information as well as the application form can be found on the website of the above mentioned agency at

Federal Office of Central Services and Unresolved Property – Ghetto Recognition Payment


Originally, applications for this one-time payment needed to be submitted until Dec. 31, 2011. There is no deadline existing anymore! The German Government decided on Dec. 20, 2011, that applications can be submitted beyond Dec. 31, 2011

Combination of Ghetto Pension and Recognition Payment

Originally, an applicant could not claim the one-time recognition payment if the work in the ghetto had already been taken into account as contribution time in the pension payments.  On July 20, 2011, the German Government changed this practice.  Since then, pension payments where the work in a ghetto was considered as contribution time for pension purposes do not exclude the one-time recognition payment and vice versa.  This means that the affected parties may now apply for both, the ghetto pension under the ZRBG regulations and the one-time recognition payment to victims of persecution of work in a ghetto which did not constitute forced labor, and, on approval, may receive both payments.

Taxation of Ghetto-Pension and Recognition Payment [pdf, 30k]

We furthermore refer to the following brochure of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, which gives an overview of further compensation measures.

Compensation Information from the Federal Ministry of Finance

The Federal Finance Office (West) can provide information on specific questions relating to compensation for National Socialist injustice:

Bundesfinanzdirektion West
(Federal Finance Office (West))
Arbeitsbereich RF 42 C
Zentrale Auskunftsstelle zur Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen Unrechts
Wörthstrasse 1 - 3
50668 Köln

Tel. 01149 221 22 25 50