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Home » Hacking News » Former Nazi-era slaves could be compensated soon

Former Nazi-era slaves could be compensated soon

by phiber on May 23rd, 2001 BERLIN, Germany -- The time is comming for Germany to pay for their crimes during the II World War

BERLIN, Germany -- Former Nazi-era slaves could be compensated soon, after German industries said they were ready for payouts to begin. They indicated the payments could start after being satisfied that they were protected from future court cases seeking extra compensation.

The companies are required to contribute half of a 10 billion mark ($4.8 billion) fund set up last year by Berlin to compensate victims of Nazi slave and forced labour. The other half of the fund, called the German Foundation, will be paid by the German government.

German industry said on Tuesday it was satisfied it had protection from future legal action - a key demand for the companies -- after a U.S. court case was thrown out. The U.S. court dismissal made it possible for money to be paid to survivors by July, said a spokesman for German companies, Wolfgang Gibowski.

Industry "has from the very beginning stressed that offering these funds is a humanitarian measure aimed at reconciliation and understanding," a statement from the industry said. "It thereby recognises the historic and moral responsibility of German industry due to its integration into the Nazi regime."

The industry's move ends two years of negotiating details of the fund.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he believed parliament could quickly give its approval for the start of the compensation payments.
"Parliament can now give its endorsement that legal protection has been achieved in order that the payments can soon begin to be paid out."
He was relieved and satisfied that it would soon be possible to begin payments.

Payments to elderly survivors can only begin after the German lower house of parliament passes a resolution saying it is happy that companies are protected from future lawsuits -- considered a formality now industry has endorsed the payments.

Germany's envoy on slave labour ,Otto Lambsdorff, said he believed German companies now had the "legal peace" they have demanded.

There were an estimated 1 million survivors of Nazi labour, mostly non-Jews from Eastern Europe.

U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram on Monday dismissed the case of Gutman vs. Deutsche Bank, saying, "It's my hope and expectation that the German Foundation will begin payments almost immediately." The case involved plaintiffs who lost money deposited in Austrian banks during the Holocaust. Kram wanted the Austrian plaintiffs to be eligible for payments from the German fund because, following Germany's 1938 annexation of Austria, Germany controlled that country's banks.

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