Ghetto: Financial Compensation for voluntary Labor in a Ghetto
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: The Ghetto pension pursuant to ZRBG and the Payment to victims of persecution in recognition of work in a ghetto.
Please be aware that as of July 18, 2014, substantial changes to the Ghetto pension pursuant to ZRBG have been signed into law which are described below.
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:
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
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
New Law Clears Way for Retroactive Pension Payments
As proposed by the German Government, the German Bundestag in early June 2014 adopted legislation under which the original Ghetto pension pursuant to ZRBG (Law Regulating the Conditions for Pension Payments on the Basis of Employment in a Ghetto) has been 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 beneficiaries will be contacted automatically and directly by the German pension offices.
The new ruling 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). For new applications please use the application form ZRBG Reconsideration provided above.
For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and further information on the subject, click the links below:
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
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.
We furthermore refer to the following brochure of the German Federal Ministry of Finance, which gives an overview of further compensation measures.
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
Tel.: 01149 221 22 25 50