Conditions

Conditions

 

Information on German ghetto pensions can be found in several information brochures such as ZRBG 121 and ZRBG 122 in German and English (the brochures can be accessed here), as well as in the press releases issued by the German Embassy in Romania on February 25, 2015 (NEU-25.02.15-DEU and NEU-25.02.15-ROU)

You can also find more 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)

In conclusion, this is a pension for voluntary work done in the Transdniestrian ghettos. It is not a transferable right. Therefore, only the survivors of the deportation can receive this pension, and under no circumstances their descendants (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, as some regretfully suggest). The widows/widowers can receive such a pension if they were legally married (which is rare among the Roma survivors).
By and large, the applicants must meet the following conditions:

1) he/she had been deported in Transnistria. With the exception of the widow/widower (provided they were legally married), the other descendants (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.) are not eligible to apply.
To prove the deportation, not only the declarations of witnesses are accepted. Instead, the applicant may attach other evidence to his/her pension file, such as:
1.1. copy of the extract from the local or national central archive (in the districts from which they were deported). Contact information for central and district archives can be found here. If you do not have such a document, ask the respective archive to provide you with an extract showing that you were deported. You can find such a sample request to the archives here. The archives are looking for information about former deportees and, if they find it, they can issue an extract confirming that the applicant was deported. This confirmation paper (which costs 45 RON, a sum we can contribute from the project budget) is included in the pension file to be submitted.

1.2. a copy of the decision of the pension office (on the basis of which he/she is recognized as a survivor of deportation to Transnistria, in accordance with Law 189/2000). The pension decision alone is not sufficient, as it does not clearly indicate whether the applicant is a beneficiary of Law 189/2000 or any other special law. If you no longer have the notice from the pension office, ask the pension office to which you belong to give you a duplicate of the notice. This is free of charge, but you must clearly indicate your first and last name, your identification number and the number of your pension file. You can find a sample of such a request here. Once you have filled it out, you can mail or e-mail it to the pension office. In order to be quickly identified, you must indicate your national identification number (CNP) and the number of your pension file in your request to the Pension Office (you will find it in your pension certificate).
1.3. other evidence that he/she has benefited from other benefits in the past, i.e., he/she has already been reviewed by other authorities who have recognized his/her status as a deportee. Such evidence may include:

a. a copy of the notice sent to you by the agency "Împreună", which mediated the allocation of humanitarian benefits in the amount of 1000 DM (511 euros) to the Roma survivors in 2001 on behalf of the German state.

b. a photocopy of the checks from the International Organization for Migration/Geneva, with which some Roma survivors were compensated with 1200 euros and 5500 euros, respectively.

2) be alive when the file is submitted

To verify this, the German pension insurance institutions use the so-called Lebensbescheinigung ("a form that can be downloaded here). The Roma who survived the deportation from Transnistria fills out the first part of the form and asks that a state authority verify the authenticity of the information (whether he/she is still alive) and countersign/stamp the application form. Then the form is also attached to the pension file. There are several local authorities that are accepted by the German pension offices: the city hall, the hospital, the church, notary offices, German diplomatic missions in Romania (embassy, consulate), etc. Initially, this form was written only in German and English, but since some local authorities often refused to sign/stamp the form under the pretext that they were not proficient in the foreign language, after the intervention of the Centre for Community Resources, the German pension institutions accepted the form attached above in German and Romanian.
If the Roma survivor's application form is accepted and he/she receives this ghetto pension, he/she will benefit from it personally and only as long as he/she lives. In order to ensure that non-legitimate persons (descendants) can also benefit from this pension, the German pension institutions periodically send a new life certificate, which must be filled out immediately by the survivor, checked, signed and stamped by a local authority and returned to the German pension institution. If this form is not completed and returned, the pension will no longer be paid, as the person is assumed to be deceased.

3) To have worked voluntarily in the ghettos of Transnistria.

3.1. Age: Since this is a pension, the applicant must have been old enough in Transnistria to be believed when he states that he worked during the deportation. A child who was born in Transnistria or who was one year old at the time of deportation, of course, has no chance of receiving such a pension for the simple reason that heor she cannot prove that he or she worked "in the womb." Basically, the younger the survivor was in Transnistria, the lower the chances of receiving such a pension. There is no survivor who was born after 1940 and received such a pension. However, there are some cases of people who were born in 1940 and received a pension, but the amount is very small: about 20 euros (90 RON)/month). The decision about this lies solely with the German pension insurance institutions.
3.2. volunteer and paid work: to be eligible, Roma survivors must describe how they get their work, how they were paid, etc. Survivors' applications stating that they did forced labour will be denied (compensation for forced labour was paid years ago through the International Organisation for Migration - Geneva. Instead, there are opportunities for survivors to describe the type of work they did, the fact that they received more food when they went to work than when they did not work at all, etc. In Transnistria, it is considered remunerated work if the survivor was compensated for his work not only with money but also with food and clothing, if he can prove that his life was somewhat better when he went to work than when he did not work, etc. The survivor must give a detailed account of his experiences in Transnistria (work, living conditions, etc.) in the form of an affidavit before a notary public. Basically, the more detailed and credible the affidavit is, the greater the chances of receiving the ghetto pension. The affidavit is written in Romanian. The German pension institutions translate it into German at their own expense.
4) Demonstrate a minimum contribution payment period of 60 months.

The pension insurance institutions in Germany consider as contribution period not only the time during which the survivors actually worked in Transnistria, but the entire time spent in Transnistria, including travel to and from Transnistria. However, as a rule, the deportation period varies between 18and 24 months. The German authorities stated that they would take into account the time spent working after returning to Romania. In practise, a Roma who applies for this pension must prove that he/she has worked at least 60 months (five years).
That is, one can accumulate:

4.1. the period of deportation in Transnistria (equated with the period of labour service) and

4.2. the subsequent contribution period in Romania. The ideal would be to prove this contribution period with the decision or ruling of the pension insurance company, which clearly lists the period during which the applicant worked and paid contributions. If this is not the case, the survivors must look for other evidence that proves that they have worked and meet the conditions for the time worked: Social Security card, service book, work book (cartea de munca), work permits, etc.
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