Germany has agreed to pay pensions to Holocaust survivors that worked in Nazi ghettos.
The payments will be paid retroactively going back to 1997, the Federal Cabinet announced this week. The law will go into effect this summer and will include 40,000 Shoah survivors, an estimated 13,000 of who are currently living in Israel.
German paper Der Spiegel claims the average payouts will be $20,500 per person.
“[The decision came from] a sense of historical responsibility for Holocaust survivors, who experienced untold suffering under National Socialism,” the government said in a statement.
Germany previously paid pensions to ghetto workers, but only up to four years. Also, the process of petitioning for such payments was often lengthy and difficult. Now, applicants can petition for decades of payouts.
“And quickly, with no red tape,” Federal Minister of Social Affairs Andrea Nahles said. “It is important that we have found a mutually acceptable resolution after so many years.”
As part of the new law, German pension funds will be required to write to each known survivor and inform them of their eligibility.
“Today we cannot imagine what the meaning of working in the Nazi ghettos was. But there are still tens of thousands who are suffering from this harsh fate,” Nahles added.