Germany Enacts First Regulation of Federal Indemnification Law

The first of several implementation regulations indispensable to the carrying out of the Federal Indemnification Law for the compensation of individual claimants has been promulgated here, 14 months after the law was adopted by the German Parliament and a full year after it went into force.

Beginning November 1, widows, until their remarriage, children while attending school and a few other minor categories of eligibles will be able to draw monthly pensions, provided that the death of the family breadwinner was indisputably and directly due to Nazi persecution. Payments will be reduced or stopped if the applicant at any time earns more than the equivalent of $35 a month. Minimum rates have been established at $48 for the widow, half this amount for a full orphan and less for half-orphans.

Eligible dependents will receive two-thirds of what the German state would grant a civil servant, equivalent in status to the murdered breadwinner, if the former had succumbed to a fatal accident in line of duty. In other words, calculation of the pension is predicated on the hypothetical assumption that the deceased Nazi victim held a German civil service position in a grade comparable to his actual social and economic standing.

Seven years after enactment of the indemnification laws for the United States Zone and 14 months after the adoption of the Federal Indemnification Law, not one of the additional implementation regulations desperately needed for putting it into practice has even been introduced in Parliament or made available to the experts of the Jewish and Nazi victims’ organizations. In the latest of a series of promises, however, the specialist for indemnification matters in the Bonn Ministry of Finance, Dr. H. Kuschnitzky, gave assurances that the implementation regulations to Articles 14 and 37 of the Law (impairment of health, physical injuries, professional or economic damage) would be “in full force by the beginning of the winter.”

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