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B’nai B’rith Appeals to Adenauer in Washington on Indemnification

B’nai B’rith today made known it has appealed to German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who is visiting Washington, for his “personal attention” in correcting “inequities” in West German indemnification payments.

President Label A. Katz of B’nai B’rith also asked Chancellor Adenauer to intervene to expedite a restitution of $1,250,000 due B’nai B’rith. Mr. Katz pointed out that the Germans had only paid one half of a settlement sum reached in May 1959. The restitution covered B’nai B’rith assets and property confiscated by the Nazis.

In urging revisions in the indemnification law, Mr. Katz said major Jewish organizations have pointed out to West German officials that technicalities in the existing laws have denied thousands of victims the right to claim compensation to which they are morally entitled.

Among these is a 1953 deadline which required that all claimants reside outside Iron Curtain countries by that date. Mr. Katz called the cut-off date arbitrary, saying it meant “the exclusion of Nazi victims, among them Hungarian escapees, who were unable to emigrate from behind the Iron Curtain until after that date.”

Mr. Katz said that failure to correct the indemnification shortcomings “can only detract from the significant achievements of the Federal Republic in this field.”

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