How to Apply
Updates on Application Requirements
The WJRO has continued to negotiate with the Polish government to ease the application process for survivors. We are pleased to announce the following updates:
1. Stage 1 of the Application: Application to the Polish Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression
- Updated application form. After discussions with the WJRO, the Polish Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression has posted an updated application form. (Click here for the updated application form with the Auschwitz Jewish Center pre-filled in — and see below for more information on designation of the Auschwitz Jewish Center.)
On pages 2, 3, and 4 of the application form, an applicant should check one or more of the boxes indicating the type of persecution that the applicant suffered.
On page 4 of the application form, the field asking for “Details regarding repressions experienced or activities undertaken” is optional. The applicant may provide additional information in this field.
The applicant should check the box for “Yes” on the bottom of page 4 of the application if the applicant would like the Polish Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression to seek additional documentation from archives and other sources. The Polish Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression will seek this documentation when it determines that documentation provided by applicants is not sufficient.
Applicants who sent in the previous version of the application form are not required to send in a new form.
- Designation of someone to forward communications from the Polish government to the applicant. At the request of the WJRO and the Claims Conference, the Auschwitz Jewish Center has generously agreed to serve – free of charge – as a proxy for survivors living outside of Poland and Israel.
An applicant must fill out and send this form to the Auschwitz Jewish Center for it to serve as their proxy. Applicant must also write in the name of the Auschwitz Jewish Center in the appropriate space on the application form. WJRO has pre-filled in the Auschwitz Jewish Center into this copy of the application form.
An applicant does not have to use the Auschwitz Jewish Center as proxy if he or she wishes to appoint someone else. This copy of the application form leaves blank the space for the applicant to fill in the proxy.
- Requirement to submit an endorsement letter from an association of survivors. The Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression has advised the WJRO that it will forward applications to one of two local Polish Jewish survivor associations to obtain endorsement letters.
Applicants may also wish to contact these local Polish Jewish survivor associations directly – and to send a copy of the completed application – to request an endorsement letter:
Applicants born between 1940 and 1945 may contact: Association of the Hidden Children of the Holocaust, Ul. Twarda 6, 00-105 Warsaw, Tel/fax: +48 22 620 82 45
All other applicants may contact: Association of Jewish Veterans and Victims of the Second World War, Ul. Twarda 6, 00-105 Warsaw, Tel./fax: +48 22 620 62 11
- Requirement to provide documentation of persecution. Applicants should provide any documentation available to them to prove persecution. When an applicant is not able to provide proof of persecution, the Polish office will ask the International Tracing Service to review its archives and forward documentation about the applicant. The applicant should, however, provide as much details as possible about his or her persecution in order to facilitate this research.
- Requirement to provide documentation of Polish citizenship. When an applicant is not able to provide proof of Polish citizenship at the time of persecution, the Polish office will undertake research to find documentation. Documentation provided by the International Tracing Service will also be used to show citizenship. Any information provided by an applicant about his or her background in Poland (such as place of birth, school attended, photographs, etc.) will be used by the office to help identify documentation.
- The requirement to provide a receipt stub for other pensions that the applicant receives. This is not mandatory for applicants living outside of Poland.
2. Stage 2 of the Application: Application to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) After Receiving a Finding of Eligibility from the Polish Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression
- Application Form. At the request of the WJRO, ZUS has prepared an application form with English translations.
- Informal Guidance in Completing the Application: We are happy to share with you a helpful document prepared at WJRO’s request by the Warsaw office of the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Weil first labels each section of the application form and then provides a table with the information required for each section.
Application Materials and Resources
To review application materials and resources, click here.
For help with your application, click here.