HEIDELBERG (Sep. 17)
The United States High Commission Court at Mannheim today reserved decision, for 20 days, on a motion by the giant German chemical trust IG Farben questioning the court’s jurisdiction over a soft filed against IG Farben by a former slave laborer.
The slave laborer, a Jewish soldier now serving in the United States Army in Germany, is asking $200,000 in back pay and damages for two years of enforced servitude at an IG Farben plant near the Auschwitz concentration camp. The soldier, Pfc. Rufolf Wachsmann, worked at the Monowitz synthetic rubber plant from 1943 to 1945 while he was a Nazi prisoner. His attorneys claim $18,000 in back pay and $180,000 in interest, damages, permanent injury to body and mind as a result of the slave labor, costs and attorneys’ fees.
The U.S. court today rejected other motions by IG Farben to the effect that the company had not been served properly by the plaintiff and that the case should be tried in Frankfurt, rather than in Mannheim where Mr. Wachsmann is now stationed as a member of an MP battalion.
Mr. Wachsmann’s suit follows the successful conclusion of a suit brought against IG Farben for back wages by Norbert Wollheim, a German Jewish leader who recently immigrated to the United States. Mr. Wollheim broughthis suit in the German courts and requested only back wages of about $2,000. IG Farben has appealed the favorable decision in the Wollheim case to higher German courts.