Detailed Information Sought by Bundestag on Reparation Payments

The Bundestag has asked the Bonn government for detailed information about groups or individuals that have received reparations for their losses and suffering under the Nazi regime, exactly how much was paid and whether any group of persecutees has been excluded in advance from receiving reparations.

West Germany has paid more than 100 billion Marks in reparations to Israel and several European countries for material losses, to Jewish and other groups and to large numbers of individuals, mainly Jews, since the end of World War II.

The Bundestag inquiry, in the name of the ruling Christian Democratic Union-Free Democratic Party coalition and the opposition Social Democratic and Green parties, is in response to growing public criticism that little or no compensation has been given Jewish and non-Jewish slave laborers, Gypsies and homosexuals, all victims of persecution by the Third Reich.

According to leading Bundestag members, one objective is to initiate new legislation to pay reparations to slave laborers. This would make thousands of Jews, among others, eligible.

The Bundestag factions have asked the government for data on reparations paid by other than federal institutions, such as state governments and special funds. They also want information about laws and other regulations which served as the basis for making reparations monies available. This could lead to tightening current procedures for applying for reparations and at the same time enlarge the number of groups eligible for them.

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