Germany’s Indemnification Law Termed “grossly Inadequate”

The proposed German Federal law for the indemnification of individual victims of the Nazi regime is “grossly inadequate” and disregards the precedent of common law regarding the responsibility of a state for the malfeasance of its officials, Dr. Otto Kuester, restitution chief for the province of Baden-Wuerttemberg, declared last night at a meeting of the Frankfurt chapter of the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation.

Dr. Kuester was deputy chief of the German negotiating team at the reparations discussions at The Hague. In the midst of a deadlock in the negotiations he resigned with a public blast at High German officials who were stalling the talks. His action is credited with having helped to speed the progress of the bargaining. The chairman of last night’s meeting here was his chief at The Hague talks, Prof. Franz Boehm.

In his address, Dr. Kuester also berated the “penny-pinching” aspects of the indemnification bill, asserting that there was no portion of it which he could praise. He rejected as too high German officials’ estimates that the Bonn Government would pay out 4,000,000,000 marks in ten years under the provision of the measure. However, he said, since the Jewish organizations, interested in providing some sort of relief for distressed and aged survivors. had given their consent to the law he too would go along with it, albeit “reluctantly.”

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