You can find information about the German ghetto pensions in several informative brochures such as ZRBG 121 and ZRBG 122 in German and English (the brochures can be accessed here), also in the press announcements offered by the German Embassy in Romania on February 25th, 2015 (NEU-25.02.15-DEU and NEU-25.02.15-ROU)
You can also find additional information in the following articles:
Glatzel, Brigitte (2010), 'Voraussetzungen für Rentenzahlungen an Ghettoarbeiter. Klärung durch die Entscheidungen des BSG vom 2./3. 6. 2009', NJW. Neue Juristische Wochenschrift, (17), 1178-81. (here)
von Renesse, Jan-Robert (2010), 'Wiedergutmachung fünf vor zwölf: das "Gesetz zur Zahlbarmachung von Renten aus Beschäftigungen în einem Ghetto"', in Jürgen Zarusky (ed.), Ghettorenten. Entschädigungspolitik, Rechtsprechung und historische Forschung (Oldenbourg), 13-37. (here)
Concluding, this is a pension for the voluntary work done in Transnistrian ghettos. It is not a transmissible right. Hence, only the survivors of deportations can obtain this pension, and by no means their descendants (children, grand-sons, grand-grand-sons as, regretfully, some might think). The widows/widowers could get such a pension, on the condition that they had been legally married (which is rare among the Roma survivors).
Broadly speaking, the applicants have to meet the following conditions:
1) he/she had been deported in Transnistria. Except for the widow/widower (on the condition that they had been legally married), the other descendants (children, grand-sons, grand-grand-sons, etc) are not eligible.
In order to prove the deportation, the declarations of witnesses only are not accepted. Instead, the applicant can attach to his/her pension file other pieces of evidence, such as:
1.1. copy of the excerpt from the Local or National Central Archives (in the districts where they have been deported from). The contact data of the central and districtual archives to be found here. If you don’t have such a document, ask the respective archives to hand you an excerpt that states that you have been deported. Such a model of application to the archives can be found here. The Archives look for information about the former deportees and, if identified, they can issue a legal excerpt stating that the applicant had been deported. This confirmation paper (that cost 45 RON, a sum which we can contribute with, from the project’s budget) will be included in the pension file that will be submitted.
1.2. copy after the Pensions House’s Decision (on the basis of which he/she is recognized the quality of being a survivor of deportations to Transnistria, in conformity with Law 189/2000). The coupon of pension only is not enough, as it does not clearly state whether the applicant is the beneficiary of Law 189/2000 or of another special law. If you don’t have the Decision of the Pensions House anymore, ask the Pensions House to which you belong to give you a duplicat to that Decision. This will be free of charge, but you have to clearly mention your name, surname, identification number and the number of your pension file. You can find a model for such a solicitation here. Once filled out, it can be sent by mail or e-mail to the Pension House. In order to be quickly identified, it is necessary that you mention your national identification number (CNP) and the number of your pension file in your application to the Pension House (you can find them in your pension coupon).
1.3. other pieces of evidence that he/she benefited in the past from other retributions, that means he/she had already been checked by other authorities, that recognized his/her quality of being a deportee. Such pieces of evidence can be:
a. a xerox copy of the notice sent to you by the Agency “Împreună" which intermediated in 2001 the allocation to the Roma survivors of some humanitarian allowances of 1000 DM (511 Euro) on behalf of the German state.
b. a xerox copy of the checks sent by the International Organization for Migration/ Geneva with which some Roma survivors have been compensated with 1200 Euro, 5500 Euro.
2) to be alive when the file is being submitted
In order to check this, the German Pension Houses make use of the so-called Lebensbescheinigung (“life certificate", a form that can be downloaded here). The Roma survivor of the Transnistria deportations fill out the fist part of the form and asks that a state authority checks the authenticity of the information (whether he/she is still alive) and to counter-sign/stamp this application form. Then the form is also annexed to the pension file. There are several local authorities accepted by the German Pension Houses: the city-hall, hospital, church, notary offices, German diplomatic representatives in Romania (Embassy, Consulate) etc. At first, this form was written only in German and English but, as some local authorities often refused to sign/stamp the form on the pretext of not knowing the foreign language, after the Centre of Resources for Community interceded, the German Pension Houses accepted the above attached form written in German and Romanian.
If the Roma survivor is being accepted his/her application form and is going to get this ghetto pension, he/she will benefit from it personally and only as long as he/she is alive. In order to make sure that non legitimate persons (descendants) will benefit from it, the German Pension Houses will periodically send a new Lebensbescheinigung form that will have to be promptly filled out, checked, signed, stamped by a local authority and sent back by the survivors to the German Pension House. If this form is not filled out and sent, the pension will cease to be paid, on the assumption that the person is deceased.
3) to have voluntarily worked in Transnistria ghettos.
3.1. the age: as we speak about a pension, the survivor applicant must have been old enough in Transnistria in order to be trusted when declaring he/she worked during the deportation time. Obviously, a child born in Transnistria, or being one year old at the time of the deportation, has no chance to get such a pension on the simple reason that he/she can not prove doing any work "in the mother's womb". As a principle, the younger the survivor was in Transnistria, the fewer the chances to benefit from such a pension. There is no survivor born after 1940 that was given this pension. Yet, there are some cases of persons born in 1940 that were given a pension but the sum is very little: approx. 20 Euro (90 RON)/month). The decision depends solely on the German Pension Houses.
3.2. voluntary and remunerated work: in order to be eligible, the Roma survivors have to describe how they get their work, what was the pay for their work etc. The applications of the survivors stating they have performed forced labour are refused (the compensations for forced labour were already paid years ago, through International Organisation for Migration - Geneva. Instead, there are chances for those survivors that describe the kind of work they've done, the fact that they got more food products if they went to work than when not working at all etc. It is considered remunerated work in Transnistria if the survivor was paid for his/her work not only with money but with food products, clothes, if they can prove that their life was a little better when going to work than while not working at all etc. The survivor has to give a detailed account of his/her experience in Transnistria (work, life conditions etc.) as an affidavit taken by a notary. As a principle, the more detailed and credible is the statement the better are the chances to be granted the Ghetto pension. The affidavit will be in Romanian. The German Pension Houses will translate them in German on their own expenses.
4) to prove a minimum contribution payment period of 60 months.
The Pension Houses in Germany take as contribution period not only the period the survivors actually worked in Transnistria but the total period of time spent in Transnistria, including the journey to and from Transnistria. Yet, as a rule, the deportation time varies between 18-24 months. The German authorities stated they will take into consideration the work service time after coming back to Romania. Practically, the Roma surviver that applies for this pension has to prove that he/she has worked at least 60 months (five years).
That means, one can cumulate:
4.1. the deportation period in Transnistria (equated with the period of work service) and
4.2. the subsequent contribution period in Romania. The ideal thing would be to prove this contribution period with the Resolution or Decision of the Pension House, in which the period of time that the applicant had worked and paid the contributions should be clearly mentioned. In the absence of these, the survivors have to look for other pieces of evidence that they had worked and fulfil these conditions of their period of work service done: Social Security Card, Service Record, Work Book (Cartea de munca), Work Authorizations etc.