Cases & Deals

Jones Day lawyers help holocaust survivors obtain pension payments from the German government

Clients Cleveland Holocaust Survivor Assistance

Jones Day Cleveland is assisting survivors of the Holocaust in obtaining pension payments from the German government related to their work in German-controlled ghettos during World War II. The project was initiated by Los Angeles partner Brette Simon, who serves on the board of trustees of Bet Tzedek (the House of Justice), a public-interest legal-services organization headquartered in Los Angeles and dedicated to obtaining reparations and pension payments for Holocaust survivors. At Brette's request, Cleveland lawyers Zack Paris, Marc Silverstein, and David Kutik (Cleveland's pro bono co-coordinator) recruited 10 other lawyers and one paralegal to help.

Following training provided by Bet Tzedek, clients were referred to Jones Day by social workers at Cleveland's Jewish Family Service Association ("JFSA"); at the present time, more than 30 cases are being handled by the Firm. Through these efforts, survivors have been able to obtain from the German equivalent of Social Security monthly pensions totaling several hundred euros and, in some cases, "back pay" in lump sums ranging from €15,000 to €20,000. Survivors who worked in the ghettos may also be entitled to one-time payments of €2,000 from another department of the German government. In November Jones Day was recognized for this pro bono program at the annual meeting of the JFSA.