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Survivors of Nazi Camps Outside Germany to Get “immediate Aid”

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The state of North Rhine Westphalia has issued instructions to pay a $1,425 “immediate-aid” indemnification allowance to German Jews who were shipped to such Nazi concentration camps outside Germany proper, such as Auschwitz, Theresienstadt or Mauthausen, and who returned to Germany after the war to settle here.

All German states but one have now abandoned the specious reasoning previously employed in this connection. The 1956 version of the Federal Indemnification Law contains a clause providing an “immediate-aid” award to Nazi victims who were former residents of Germany. If they emigrated from Germany due to Nazi persecution, if they were deported or expelled, they are entitled–once they have returned to Germany on a permanent basis–to a $1,425 allowance, half of which is later deducted from other indemnification grants.

By dint of strained legal argumentation, some German indemnification authorities ruled that Jews whom the Nazis shipped to concentration camps outside Germany, and who returned to Germany after the war, had not been “deported” or expelled within the meaning of the law and therefore had no claim to the “immediate-aid” grant. The state of Rhineland-Palatinate still adheres to this interpretation, and has now appealed to the German Supreme Court against a decision of the Neustadt Superior Court which affirms that a Jewish complainant is entitled to the “immediate-aid” allowance.

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