Wartime Slave Laborers to Be Compensated by German Auto Firm

The Daimler Benz Co. of West Germany, manufacturers of the Mercedes, will pay compensation to slave laborers it employed during World War II when it built tanks and other mobile equipment for Hitler’s army, a company spokesman announced in Haifa this week. Many of the slave laborers were Jews.

Bernd Gotschalk, chief of public relations for Daimler-Benz, spoke at ceremonies at Haifa University inaugurating the Gottlieb Schumacher Research Center, established at the university with a quarter-million-dollar grant from Daimler-Benz.

The center will study the Christian contribution to the development of Palestine in the 19th century, particularly the Templars. Gottlieb Schumacher, for whom it was named, was the son of a Templar who worked in Palestine as an engineer in the last century.

Daimler-Benz is headquartered in Stuttgart in the federal state of Wuerttemberg where the Templar movement was founded more than 100 years ago. The Templars came to Palestine on extended pilgrimages. They established many “German colonies” in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa. One of the best known, which lasted until the outbreak of World War II, was Sarona, in what was then the outskirts of Tel Aviv. It is presently a government and Israel Defense Force General Headquarters complex.

NEXT STORY