German Finance Minister Opposes Restitution, Indemnification Claims by Nazi Victims

Dr. Werner Hilpert, finance minister of Essen, today told the local parliament that the restitution and indemnification claims by persons who suffered from the Nazi regime “are forcing the taxpayers to commit suicide.” He reported that the Federal West German Government estimates that these claims may amount to 37,000,000,000 German marks.

Issue with the statement made by Minister Hilpert was taken by Dr. Philip Auerbach, Bavarian Commissioner for Persecutees. He said that Dr. Hilpert’s statement is “incorrect” and pointed out that taxpayers’ money is not being used for any restitution and indemnification purposes and that this has been regulated under the de-nazification law. The victims of Nazism, Dr. Auerbach said, are entitled to their claims, particularly when consideration is taken of the efforts which are being made to secure compensation for officers and soldiers of the German Army.

The government of Lower Saxony today submitted a motion to the federal parliament urging that a federal restitution and indemnification law be created on the basis of coordinating the various zonal laws. The motion is opposed by Dr. Auerbach.

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