Polish Holocaust victims living overseas to receive pension

May 29, 2014 Agencies
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The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) has welcomed legislation allowing  certain Holocaust victims and others who were Polish citizens during World War II to receive payments in bank accounts outside of Poland.

WJRO

Previously, recipients needed a Polish bank account, making it difficult for Holocaust victims and other eligible people now living outside Poland to qualify for the pension. Most beneficiaries of the existing pension, created as a result of a 1991 law, are not Jewish.

The new law will open the door for thousands of Polish Holocaust survivors worldwide – from Buenos Aires to Sydney – to receive the pension. Eligible applicants qualify for monthly payments of about PLN 300 (about $100) from the Polish government.  The legislation will only become effective for those outside Poland in six to twelve months.

Applications and payments are administered by the Polish government. WJRO will post the latest information on the program on www.polishrestitution.com/pensions. It will also coordinate with social service institutions worldwide to provide information to Holocaust victims of Polish origin who do not already receive the pension and who may be eligible.

The Legislation on War Veterans and Victims of War and Post-War Oppression, originally passed in 1991, offers a monthly pension for those who were detained by the Nazis in ghettos, prisons, concentration camps, extermination camps, or similar places of detention; were forcibly deported to the Soviet Union; served in the Polish military, the Polish units of the Allied militaries, or in the Polish underground during World War II; or otherwise are considered a veteran or a victim of oppression.

“We welcome this positive step by Poland, which will help elderly Holocaust survivors,” said WJRO Co-Chairman Abraham Biderman. “In view of the age of Holocaust survivors, we urge Poland to accept and process applications immediately so that survivors can begin to receive payments. We believe that these symbolic payments should serve as a first step toward Poland creating a comprehensive program of private property restitution legislation for property confiscated by the Nazis and the Communists.”

WJRO commends Israeli Minister of Senior Citizens Uri Orbach on his role in also encouraging passage of this legislation.

Before World War II, about 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland; 90 percent of this vibrant community perished in the Holocaust.

Poland has passed legislation for the return of communal property to the Jewish community and other religious groups. However, it remains the only major country in Central and Eastern Europe without a law to restore or compensate for private property confiscated during the Holocaust and/or subsequently nationalized by the Communist regime.

Although previous Polish governments had pledged to enact legislation concerning private property – such a move would benefit both Jewish and non-Jewish rightful owners – the current government has declined to support such restitution or compensation laws.

The World Jewish Restitution Organization works to attain restitution of private property and Jewish communal property seized during the Holocaust in all countries other than Germany and Austria. Working together with local Jewish communities, the WJRO negotiates with governments to reach agreements and obtain legislation concerning such restitution.

Comments

3 Responses to “Polish Holocaust victims living overseas to receive pension”
  1. Jean Scrivner says:

    Is there anyone out there that can help me with my Mother. She is 90 years old and lives in Denver, Colorado she is a survivor of the Holocaust. She is Polish and in need of assistance in her old age. I don’t know what is available to her as I live in Australia. She has just spent the last 3 months with me but is very home sick. I would greatly appreciate any information that can assist her in her care in these the last years of her life. She suffered greatly under the Nazis. Please HELP!

    • Michael Eisinger says:

      I’m not sure if you’ve found any assistance, but have you tried Jewish Family Service of Colorado? They may be able to guide you to home care assistance, restitution assistance, etc depending on what they are setup to assist with. I believe their phone number is 303.597.5000 but you can google them and find out all of their details on their website. I hope that helps! Best of luck to your mother.

  2. manny says:

    Dear sir
    I AM A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR ,ITS TIME THAT POLAND FINALY DECIDED TO PAY
    A PENSION ,TO JEWISH FORMER CITIZENS OF POLAND.

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