BONN (May. 16)
Detailed figures published here today reveal that a total of $92,800, 000 for Jewish claims of all categories are included in the $6,430, 000,000 West German budget for the 1954-55 fiscal year, which the Bundestag has approved by a large majority.
The largest item for Jewish purposes is the $60, 000,000 earmarked for deliveries under the reparations agreement with Israel. The agreement actually stipulated that the “normal” rate would be $74,000,000 per annum, but West Germany is taking advantage of an escape clause permitting her, at her own discretion, to restrict payments to the minimum of $60, 000, 000. This clause was inserted so as to give Germany some leeway if she should find herself hard pressed economically, In fact, however, the German economy is enjoying an unprecedented boom.
In addition to the 1954-55 allocation for Israel reparations, the budget lists $14,000, 000 to cover certain Israel purchases in the fiscal year that ended last March 31, and for which no appropriations had previously been asked. Similarly, $1,500,000 are intended as budgetary sanction for pensions, already paid in the past fiscal year, to former German rabbis and employees of Jewish communities. The same amount is made available for the current year, together with $120,000 for the victims of Nazi medical experiments.
The new budget lists only a relatively paltry $15, 900, 000 for payments to individual victims of Nazism, both Jews and Germans, under the terms of the Federal Indemnification Law adopted nearly a year ago, and for which not a single one of the indispensable implementation regulations has yet been issued. West Germany’s constituent states will themselves continue to satisfy a limited number of compensation claims, it is true, but the close-fistedness of the Federal allocation foreshadows the dashing of the hopes of a large majority of Jewish victims of Nazism in the coming year.