Bonn (Jun. 7)
Jewish victims of Nazism may benefit to the extent of $400,000,000 to $500,000,000 over the next seven years as a result of the passage yesterday by the Bundestag, lower house of the West German Parliament, of the long delayed amendment to the Indemnification Law, it was estimated here today. Before entering into force, however, the measure must yet be approved by the Bundesrat, the upper house.
The measure constitutes an almost complete overhaul of the 1953 Indemnification Law which was passed despite widespread recognition of the need for major changes. Among the chief features of the new measure is elimination of the 25 percent difference in benefit payments to German nationals and DP’s who were victimized and the extension of benefits to residents of East Germany.
In calling for approval of the measure, Heinrich Greve and Dr. Franz Boehm, chairman and deputy chairman, respectively, of the committee which hammered out the amendment, noted that the process of handling claims was unsatisfactory, particularly because in the apparatus set up in some states ex-Nazis were in a position to sabotage speedy handling of claims. The volume of paper work and the shortage of competent personnel to handle claims also contributed to long delays.
In the event that the Bundesrat or Federal Council, in which the West German states are represented, fails to accept the Bundestag version, the amendment will be sent to a conference committee of both houses for settlement. When the original measures shortcomings were recognized, it was hoped to have an amendment passed by 1954, but the matter has dragged.