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Debate over Compensation to Wartime Victims of Persecution

A conference attended by 60 psychiatrists and medical internists in Utrecht last week unanimously rejected a recent report by two of their colleagues who would deny material benefits to wartime victims of persecution unless they could prove their current medical problems stemmed directly from their treatment at the hands of the Nazis.

The report was written by two psychiatrists of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Willem Schudel and Louis Pepplinkhuizen. They maintained that medical complaints 40 years after World War II should not automatically be linked to suffering under the Nazis or Germany’s wartime ally, Japan. Unless there is “overwhelming evidence to the contrary,” persons with such complaints are not entitled to government compensation for war victims, they said.