German Parliament passes law to allow pensions for laborers in Nazi ghettos in occupied Poland

The German Parliament's upper house has approved legislation that will allow pension payments to residents of Poland who were forced to work for the Nazis in ghettos when their country was occupied during World War II.

The law passed Friday amends a 1975 agreement between Germany and Poland under which the country of residence was responsible for all pension payments.

Germany committed last year to some half-billion dollars in pensions to some 40,000 Holocaust survivors, mostly in eastern Europe, who were used by the Nazis in ghettos as laborers in exchange for food or meager wages. The payments to those in Poland had been held up by the 1975 accord.

In total, Germany has paid around 70 billion euros ($95 billion) in compensation for Nazi crimes, primarily to Jewish survivors.