BONN (Jan. 26)
A total of $92,800,000 for Jewish claims in all categories is included in the $6,430,000 budget for the 1954-55 fiscal year submitted to the Bundestag yesterday by West German Finance Minister Frits Schaeffer.
The allocations for the two largest classifications – Israel reparations and individual indemnification – are well below expectations. A total of $60,000,000 is earmarked for deliveries under the reparations agreement in view of the “budgetary position.” Dr. Schaeffer told the Bundestag in this connection that the Federal Government had “availed itself of the contractual possibility of limiting the value of deliveries to $60,000,000 for the forthcoming year.”
The reparations pact set $74,000,000 (DM 310,000,000) as the normal rate. The “escape clause” giving Germany the option of limiting payments to the lower figure was envisioned as a recourse if Germany should find herself in economic difficulties. But this budget, which is balanced, reflects an astounding prosperity and Finance Minister Schaeffer told the House he looked forward to an expanded gross national income and a $360,000,000 increase in federal tax receipts.
In addition to the allocation for Israel reparations, the budget message lists $14,000,000 to cover certain Israel purchases in the current fiscal year for which no appropriations had previously been asked or made.
The amount of $1,500,000 is included as budgetary sanction for pensions already paid in the present fiscal year to rabbis and former communal officials. The same amount will be made available for the forthcoming fiscal year, along with $120,000 for victims of Nazi medical experiments.
Only $15,900,000 is listed for payment to individual victims of Nazism, both Jews and Germans, under the terms of the Federal Indemnification Law adopted last Summer. West Germany’s constituent states will themselves continue to satisfy such claims, but the smallness of the Federal allocation indicates that many Jewish victims of Nazism are to be frustrated once again.