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German State in U.S. Zone Attempts to Discriminate Against Ghetto Inhabitants’ Claims

The provincial government of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in the American zone of Germany, has interpreted the general claims law in effect throughout the U.S. zone in such fashion as to rule out indemnification payments to some victims of the Nazis.

The general claims law provides for payments to persons herded into ghettos by the Nazis. The Wuerttemberg Ministry of Justice has just issued a ruling discriminating between persons interned in ghettos and persons imprisoned in ghettos. According to this regulation only persons in “imprisonment ghettos” are entitled to indemnification. The regulation also sets forth that no “imprisonment ghettos” were established before 1943 and that persons forced into ghettos earlier were there for reasons of military security.

Dr. Philip Auerbach, Bavarian Commissioner for Persecutees, has protested the ruling in a letter to the provincial authorities, and has pointed out that the ghettos of Warsaw, Lodz and other cities were established immediately after the German occupation of Poland. The Central Jewish Committee has appealed to Harry Greenstein, adviser on Jewish affairs to the U.S. High Command, to ask American High Commissioner John McCloy to halt this “intolerable interpretation of the general claims law.”