BONN (Jan. 13)
The Polish Press Agency said today that it was not acceptable that the Flick industrial conglomerate, now owned by Deutsche Bank, will pay reparations only to Jews who were used as slave labor by one of its subsidiaries during World War 11.
According to the Polish Press Agency, most of the slave laborers were Russian and Polish inmates of Nazi concentration camps. The Deutsche Bank, West Germany’s largest, agreed last week that Flick pay 5 million Marks — equivalent to $2 million — to surviving Jewish concentration camp inmates forced to work for its subsidiary, Dynamit-Nobel, under brutal and dangerous conditions.
The agreement culminated nearly 20 years of efforts by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany to get compensation from Flick. The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, published statistics today showing that West Germany has made available a total of 75 billion Marks to Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Nazi era. The Federal Republic will pay another 11 billion Marks in reparations this year.
The monies have been paid to several European countries and to Israel, which received 3 billion Marks, and to various organizations and many individuals. Part of the payment is in the form of pensions to Nazi victims or members of their families, which will be paid out for many years to come.
The Finance Ministry issued its report after a Bundestag member, Hermann Fellner, cast aspersions on Jews seeking compensation for slave laborers. Fellner, a ranking member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), remarked publicly last week that “Jews always show up when money jingles in German cashboxes.”