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Bundesrat to Discuss Decision on $300,000,000 Fund for Nazi Victims

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The Bundesrat, upper chamber of the West German Parliament, will take up on July 9 the decision adopted last week by a Parliamentary mediation committee to adhere to a decision opposed by the Bundesrat to expand a special hardship fund for victims of Nazism.

The mediation committee, a permanent unit of the Parliament created to resolve differences over legislation between the two chambers, acted on the question after the Bundestag, or lower house, approved the expansion of the fund from 700,000,000 marks ($175,000,000) to 1,200,000,000 marks ($300,000,000), and the Bundesrat rejected it. The fund was set up to compensate victims who were unable to file claims by an October 1953 deadline because they were then in Iron Curtain countries.

Dr. Otto Schmidt, a leader of Chancellor Ludwig Erhard’s Christian Democratic Union and chairman of the mediation committee, was asked today whether the Bundesrat might again reject the proposal on July 9. He said that theoretically, it could but that he believed it was “almost impossible” that it would do so. He added that prolonged debate had preceded the decision of the mediation committee to approve the hardship fund expansion.

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