Congressmen send letter to Germany over Holocaust pensions

A group of congressmen urged Germany to pay the pensions of Holocaust survivors.

Germany’s Ghetto Pension Law was designed to compensate Holocaust survivors employed as slave laborers in Nazi ghettos, but 94 percent of the 70,000 applications submitted for the pension have been rejected, according to the Claims Conference.

In a letter Tuesday addressed to German Minister for Labor and Social Affairs Franz Muntefering, 20 members of Congress led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), said the program is not determining eligibility appropriately and that applicants should be able to have their cases re-opened and re-evaluated.

Some of the congressmen who signed the letter had penned similar requests in August 2004 and May 2005. Former Minister Ulla Schmidt responded in June 2005, promising to address the issues and speed up the application process.

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