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German Government Acts on Federal Indemnification Law

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The Federal Cabinet has approved, and sent to the Federal Council for concurrence, the draft of an implementation regulation to the 1953 Federal Indemnification Law. Eighteen months after adoption of the law, this is the first regulation dealing with damage to property and with compensation for the impairment of economic prospects.

Heretofore, not a single payment falling under these and related categories has been made. In particularly urgent cases, advances and loans were granted, but never regular payments.

The new implementation regulation authorizes certain disbursements to “priority groups” the indigent, the elderly and those whose earning capacity is reduced by more than half due to sickness or injury. Once the new regulation enters into effect, Nazi victims from among these priority groups can, under certain conditions, obtain the amounts due them for the death of the breadwinner in the case of widows and minor children, for Nazi-inflicted injury to health or for illegal detention in jails and concentration camps.

The Indemnification Law provides for certain limited payments, to Nazi victims who were formerly residents of Germany, for damage to property–for instance, when Jewish apartments and stores were destroyed in the November, 1938 pogroms–and for impairment of economic and professional advancement and prospects through discriminatory Nazi action. Under the first heading, claimants from the priority groups can receive amounts up to $2,400, according to the new regulation, while for impairment of advancement and prospects, a maximum of $1,200 has been fixed.

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