BERLIN (JTA) — Thousands of Jews now living in Israel who were forced to work in Nazi ghettos will receive improved pensions under an agreement worked out between Israel and Germany.
A formal announcement is expected later this month, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Cabinet visit Israel for their annual joint meeting and talks, which were initiated in 2008.
An Israeli delegation and Germany’s Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs worked out the agreement in negotiations in Berlin.
The adjustment would affect approximately 13,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel who applied for the pension after 1997 and had received retroactive payments for a maximum of four years.
Under the proposed change, all applicants, whether forced to work or were paid for their labor, will be eligible for retroactive payments back to 1997, even beyond the four years. The average payment per person would be about $20,500, according to Der Spiegel magazine.
There are separate compensation programs for surviving slave laborers and for those who were paid at the time.