German Parliament rejects pensions for ghetto workers

(JTA) — Germany’s Parliament rejected an amendment that would have provided pension payments to 20,000 Holocaust survivors who worked in the ghettos.

The amendment to the 2002 Ghetto Workers Law was voted down March 21 by parties in the ruling government coalition. The law was designed to provide pensions retroactive to 1997 for Jews who worked in the ghettos.

Although the parliament had unanimously passed the Ghetto Workers Law approving pension payments for ghetto survivors, 90 percent of the applications were turned down by the German social security system.

The social security administration approved only half of the nearly 50,000 applications, but stipulated that back payments would only go back four years and not to 1997 as originally decided by the parliament.  A federal court upheld the decision in February 2012.

Opposition politicians drafted the resolution that was rejected March 21.

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