Germany assesses 1,200 claims for Amsterdam WWII ghetto labour

Some 1,200 people have applied for compensation payments from Germany for working in Amsterdam’s Jewish areas during World War II, according to media reports.

The one-time payment of €2,000 is being offered to people who lived in three Amsterdam districts classed as ghettos during the German occupation and worked there on a voluntary basis, news agency ANP reports.

The payments were publicised this week by the Dutch Holocaust survivors’ association VBV.

Boundaries

VBV officials were in Germany last week in an effort to have the definition of the city’s Jewish areas made larger than accepted until now.

Three areas have now been officially recognised where claims can be made: the Jodenbuurt in central Amsterdam, the Rivierenbuurt area in the south and Transvaalbuurt in the east, the organisation said.

‘Dutch Jews were driven out of their professions and forced into ghettos before their deportation to concentration camps,’ VBV chairwoman Flory Neter is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

‘They often did random chores such as sewing bags to feed their families. It wasn’t forced labour but they were coerced to live in the ghettos so it wasn’t voluntary either.’

The German authorities are now assessing the 1,200 claims in the light of the new boundaries, the VPV said.