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Wartime Slave Laborer Sues Siemens

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A former slave laborer at the Ravensbruck concentration camp is suing the giant Siemens electronics company for more than $40,000 in unpaid wages and damages.

The plaintiff, a woman, is asking a Munich court to order Siemens to pay her $12,150 in back salary, $25,000 compensation for suffering and $5,000 in lost contributions to a pension program.

The case reportedly has support from the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party, both opposition parties in the Bundestag.

The woman’s lawyer, Norbert Muller, said this suit is a test case which could serve as a precendet for demands from others who were used for slave labor in World War II.

Many of Germany’s major industries used slave laborers, many of them Jews, provided by the concentration camps during the war. Working under excruciating conditions, many of them died. The survivors have received little compensation.

There have, however, been agreements by German firms to pay survivors, notably from the Daimler-Benz Corporation and from Feldmuhle Nobel, known during the war as Dynamit-Nobel.

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