Bonn Parliament Keeps Pledge to Jews; Passes Indemnification Bill

Jews will constitute more than 50 percent of the persons who will benefit from the bill to indemnify individual victims of the Nazis which was passed unanimously this week-end by the Bandesrat, the Upper House of the West German Parliament, at its last session marking the end of its four-year legislative term.

The measure, which goes into effect October 1, was pledged in the reparations agreement between West Germany and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. It is estimated that if all payments are carried out in good faith, the total to be paid the Nazi victims will range between $700,000,000 and $1,000,000,000 during the next ten years.

The law, previously passed by the Lower House, provides for direct payments to Nazi victims, or their surviving dependents who were illegally detained by the Nazis or who lost property or suffered physical injuries resulting in disabilities as a result of Nazi persecution. Former concentration camp inmates will receive approximately $35 for each month that they were imprisoned.

Compensation legislation is already on the books in the German states, which so far have paid out about $150,000,000 to Nazi victims. German Jews in the United States zone will be least affected by the new bill because it is modelled after restitution legislation in effect in that zone. Improvement will result for Jews in the French and British zones.

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