NEW YORK (Aug. 5)
Leaders of the Socialist Democratic Party in West Germany, one of the strongest political parties in the country, pledged themselves to give maximum support in Parliament to legislation which aims to provide for the payment of reparations to Jewish victims of Nazism who could not leave Communist countries before October 1953 and were thus prevented from presenting their claims to the Bonn Government in given time.
The pledge was given by top leaders of the Social Democratic Party to Adolph Held, chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, who returned this week from a visit to West Germany at the invitation of Willy Brandt, Mayor of West Berlin. Reporting today on his talks with the Socialist leaders in Berlin and in Bonn, Mr. Held said that the West German Government proposes to pay a global sum of $200,000,000 to Jews of that category, but the Jewish victims should have the same rights to claim and receive reparations as other Nazi victims have. He said that German victims of Nazis who left Communist countries after October 1953 do have such rights.
Dr. Martin Hirsch, one of the German socialist leaders who is the chairman of the parliamentary committee which deals with the proposed legislation, met with Mr. Held and assured him that the Social Democrat members in the West German Parliament will fight to secure a settlement for Jews not on the basis of a global payment but on the same conditions as all other Nazi victims receive their compensation. Similar assurances were given to the Jewish Labor Committee chairman by other German Socialist deputies.
Following their meeting, Dr. Hirsch issued a press statement declaring: “I and the Social Democratic Party will fight in the Bundestag that the claims of Jewish victims of Nazism who left Communist countries after October 1953 should be settled in a positive way.” Dr. Hirsch also assured Mr. Held that he will insert in the proposed legislation a provision that in case a Jewish victim of Nazism dies, his widow should continue to receive the payments to which he was entitled.