GENEVA (May. 27)
“Satisfaction” with the action of the Bundestag, lower house of the West German Parliament, in the adoption of new restitution legislation in aid of the victims of Nazism who could not file applications prior to 1953, was voiced here today by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
The Bundestag approved yesterday a “final act” of restitution, setting up a special $300,000,000 “hardship” fund to aid these victims of Nazism who could not escape from Iron Curtain countries in time to file applications prior to the legal cut-off date of October 1, 1953.
The Claims Conference had requested that the post-1953 applicants be given equal status with those who filed before the cut-off date, as a matter of principle. The Conference wanted the amendment to the old restitution law to wipe out the 1953 date. However, Conference leaders now feel that the $300,000,000 figure will be sufficient to meet the most urgent needs of the post-1953 group.
(In Bonn, Finance Minister Rolf Dalgruen said today that the new $300,000,000 “hardship” fund constitutes “the closing chapter of compensation to the Jewish people, but not compensation of the heart.” Prof. Franz Bochm, prominent leader of the Christian Democratic Party who was West Germany’s chief negotiator of the restitution plan for Jewish victims of Nazism worked out in 1953, described the Bundestag voting of the fund as “a worthy end to the compensation program launched in 1953.”)