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Providing evidence for recognition payments to former German forced labourers

The Vorkuta labour camp in the former USSR
The Vorkuta labour camp in the former USSR

The German Government Directive on a Recognition Payment to Former German Forced Labourers entered into force on 1 August 2016. The German Bundestag’s budget committee had already allocated a sum of EUR 50 million for this purpose in November 2015.

German civilians who were required to perform forced labour for a foreign power between 1 September 1939 and 1 April 1956 as a result of their German citizenship or ethnicity can now apply for compensation. Successful applicants will receive a single, symbolic recognition payment of EUR 2,500. This payment is non-transferrable. It can only be paid to surviving spouses or children if the relative concerned died after the budget law was passed (27 November 2015).

The German Federal Office of Administration has been tasked with implementing the procedure. You must submit your application for a recognition payment in writing to the address below by 31 December 2017:

Bundesverwaltungsamt, Außenstelle Hamm
Alter Uentroper Weg 2
59071 Hamm
Germany

Service hotline: +49 (0)228 / 99 353 9800
Email: adz@bva.bund.de

You can find more information, the wording of the Directive, and the fact sheet including further details for applicants here.

Support from the GRC Tracing Service

The GRC Tracing Service can help you to compile the necessary evidence for your application. This includes evidence of the period of forced labour or imprisonment, as well as any required details concerning your German ethnicity or citizenship, if necessary. With its access to the archives of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus, the GRC Tracing Service can view comprehensive information on civilian internees and forced labourers in the camps of the former Soviet Union. These archives often also contain index cards, transport lists and expellee ID cards (with notes regarding forced labour or imprisonment in labour camps), which can all be used as evidence.

In addition, the GRC Tracing Service has access to documents relating to the expellee acceptance procedures pursuant to the Federal Expellees Act (acceptance permits, notifications of admission), as well as documents regarding displacement destinations or the route those affected were forced to take.

Those affected can submit their application with reference to the Directive on a Recognition Payment to Former German Forced Labourers to the GRC Tracing Service either by:

or

  • providing the relevant personal information for the acceptance procedure or displacement destination by email to fz@drk-suchdienst.de.