BUDAPEST (Feb. 3)
Hungary’s Jews hope that West Germany will continue to make compensation and reparation payments after the original time limit is reached this year. A local group. “The Organization of Nazi Victims in Hungary,” and the local authorities intend to take the matter up with the German government. They discussed the issue with the West German Minister of Finance Helmuch Schiller during his recent visit here. Schiller is reported to have said at the time that “the psychological value of continued compensation is as important as the moneys actually paid.”
West Germany has paid up till now 100 million DM into a special Hungarian bank which effects payment to individual claimants. Proven victims have received an average of 13,000 florins (about $560) each. Official statistics here show that altogether 666,382 people were deported by Nazi Germany and only a handful are known to have survived.
Of Hungary’s current Jewish population of 100,000, some 60,000 have lodged compensation claims and many feel that these have not been fully paid. Local recipients also complain about the “red tape” involved. People complain that they have to bear the brunt of supplying proof that their persecution had a religious reason. East Germany has adamantly refused up till now to make any payment whatsoever for the victims, disclaiming any responsibility for the actions of the Third Reich.