German Firm Agrees to Pay $6,430,000 to Jewish Slave Laborers

An agreement to set aside $6,430,000 for payments to Jewish slave laborers in I.G. Farben plants during World war II will be signed here tomorrow by officials of the firm and of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Implementation of the agreement will depend on ratification by stockholders of I.G. Farben which is in liquidation, and passage of legislation by the West German Parliament fixing a deadline for registration of claims against the company. Stockholders are expected to approve the agreement at a meeting in April and no difficulty is expected in obtaining enabling legislation from the Bonn Parliament.

The agreement provides that the I.G. Farben liquidators will make the money avail able to a legal trust which will make the payments to Jewish claimants. The legal trust will probably be set up in Frankfurt.

The agreement was the outcome of negotiations in Frankfurt and New York over the past two years, designed to provide a centralized machinery for speedy payment of compensation to former Jewish slave workers, from the Auschwitz concentration camp, without forcing them to undertake prolonged and expensive litigation.

Norbert Wollheim of New York, whose test case in German courts was the basis of the effort to win compensation from the giant German cartel, said he was gratified that a way had been found to make possible compensation to thousands of Jewish slave laborers from Auschwitz like himself without requiring them to take legal action. He said he would withdraw his pending lawsuit as soon as the agreement goes into effect.

3,000 JEWISH VICTIMS FILED CLAIMS; MORE EXPECTED

Dr. Ernest Katzenstein, director in Germany for the Claims Conference, said information would be provided as quickly as circumstances permitted on procedures to follow in filing of claims. He stressed no payments can be made until registration of all claims is completed under terms of the enabling legislation expected from the German Parliament.

Some 3,000 Jewish victims have filed claims with additional claimants expected. If claimants are no greater in number than the Conference expects, prospects are for payments of $1,190 to Jewish slave workers of six months duration or longer, and for smaller payments, with a minimum of $460, for shorter periods. Trustees who will handle the claims will be named by the Claims Conference.

The required legislation must be enacted by April 30 and both the Claims Conference and the I.G. Farben company have the right to revoke the agreement within a three month period after the new filing deadline has expired. A court of arbitration of three members will be named by the Claims Conference to settle disputes between claimants and trustees. Arbitrators will be chosen from among Jewish victims and one of them must be at least a former inmate of the Auschwitz camp.

NEXT STORY