GN 00302.327 Definition of Holocaust Survivor

A. General

This policy applies to survivors of the Holocaust. However, not everyone who was caught up in the events preceding and during World War II qualifies to use these procedures. Only those who meet the definition below may have their DB established under the special procedures.

B. Definition

For purposes of this policy, individuals who meet the following requirements qualify as survivors for whom the special rules of evidence apply.

IF the individual was a ...AND ...AND also ...THEN ...
    

Member of a group of people who were systematically persecuted and exterminated by the Nazis

EXAMPLES

  • Jews

  • Gypsies

  • Jehovah's Witnesses

  • Blacks

  • Asian or Pacific Islanders

Misstated his/her age to avoid:

  • Persecution by the Nazis, or

  • Confinement in Nazi concentration camps, or

  • Extermination in Nazi concentration camps, or

  • Other threats to life by the Nazis

Presented acceptable evidence of survivor status

The individual is a Holocaust survivor and the special rules of evidence in GN 00302.330 will apply.

    

C. Example 1

The claimant alleged a DB of 8/14/12. All documentary evidence indicated a DB of 7/5/21.

The claimant stated that she was born in Poland and that no public or religious record of birth exists for her. Because she was a Jehovah's Witness, the Nazis incarcerated her in 1942. She gave the Nazis the later DB so that she would be sent to a work camp, rather than a concentration camp where she would have faced certain death.

She maintained this DB on all legal documents after the war because she was afraid that any change would jeopardize her chances for emigration to the United States, or would later lead to her deportation. She submitted acceptable evidence of survivor status with her claim.

Since the claimant was a member of a group persecuted by the Nazis, had changed her DB to avoid confinement and probable death in a Nazi concentration camp, and presented acceptable evidence to establish survivor status, the special rules for establishing her DB apply.

D. Example 2

The claimant alleged a DB of 7/22/15. All available documentary evidence of age showed a DB of 7/22/20. No public or religious record of age exists.

The claimant stated that he was born in Austria, and when the Nazis came to power, he and his family were confined to a Jewish ghetto. After he understated his age by 5 years, he was sent by the Nazis to work as a farm laborer. Most of the inhabitants to the ghetto who were the “wrong” age were ultimately killed summarily by the Nazis.

Afraid that any change in his records would create legal problems for him, the claimant continuted to use this fictitous DB after the war ended. He submitted acceptable evidence os survivor status with his claim.

Since the claimant was a member of group persecuted by the Nazis, changed his DB to avoid certain death at the hands of the Naziz, and submitted acceptable evidence of survivor, status. his DB may be established under the special Holcocaust procedures.

E. Example 3

The claimant alleged being born in Poland on 6/5/09. All documentary evidence of age showed a DB of 6/5/19. No public or religious record of birth exists.

The claimant stated that he was a Jew who was imprisoned in the Soviet Union in 1940 for his political and religious activities. After being taken prisoner by Russian troops who overrun eastern Poland, he changed his DB to make himself younger so that he would be sent to a work camp rather than to a Soviet prison camp. As evidence of survivor status, he submitted a record, dated 11/45, from an Austrian displaced-person's camp.

In this case, SSA cannot use the special Holocaust procedures to establish the claimant's DB because the claiman