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170,000 Claims Totalling 1,000,000,000 Marks Filed in Berlin

Some 170,000 claims for indemnification have been filled with the local indemnification office–the largest total that has been registered with any restitution office in Germany. This is explained by the fact that 200,000 of Germany’s pre-war Jewish population of 600,000 lived in Berlin. The claims represent an aggregate value of 1,000,000,000 deutschemarks.

Norbert Wolheim, former chairman of the Jewish Communities of Northwest Germany, and now a resident of the United States, has brought an action in a Frankfurt court to force the I.G.Farben company to pay him compensation for compulsory work in its behalf while he was imprisoned by the Nazis in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Mr. Wolheim’s action is based on a ruling of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal that forced labor of Nazi camp inmates in I.G.Farben plants situated near the camps was illegal. A decision from the Frankfurt court is not expected until early next year.

In a letter to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the Association for Christian-Jewish cooperation of Germany has stated that any deviation from the present German Government attitude toward payment of reparations to Israel would result in “national disaster.” The letter also rejected Arab threats against Germany if the Israel pact is implemented and urged its speedy ratification by Parliament.

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