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U.S. Senate Urged to Enable Former Refugees to Seek Compensation

The American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish Congress today urged the Senate to enact legislation to permit compensation for World War II damages to all persons who presently hold American citizenship. The two groups submitted identical memoranda to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee which opened hearings today on war claims proposals.

The memorandum emphasized that this recommendation was of “major importance” to thousands of former refugees to whom the United States had offered haven from persecution. The exclusion of a major group of American citizens from any legislation which provided compensation for damages, the Jewish organizations said, would constitute grave discrimination against Americans “who suffered from the ravages of a war which was preceded by an assault against them and of which they were the principal victims.”

The memorandum stressed that; “by adopting this recommendation, the Congress would honor the claims of persons who had contributed to the war effort, whose sons had served in the armed forces of the United States, who as taxpayers had contributed to the fund which is used as a source for the payment of the claims, and who, by virtue of having relinquished their former citizenship, have no other government than the United States to turn to for compensation.”

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