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Two Germanys Agree to Disburse New Restitution for Some Survivors

On the eve of their unification, West and East Germany are firmly committed to negotiate new restitution agreements for certain categories of Holocaust survivors, the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced Thursday.

“We are pleased that considerable progress has been made toward the achievement of our objectives,” said Dr. Israel Miller, president of the Claims Conference.

Miller reported that both the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic have made a formal commitment that the unified German government would seek an agreement with the Claims Conference to provide hardship payments to Nazi victims who did not receive any or only minimal compensation.

The commitment is contained in a document signed by the two governments in conjunction with the Unification Agreement approved by their respective parliaments, Miller stated. The two Germanys will unite on Oct. 3.

As part of the unifying agreements, legislation was enacted providing for the filing of claims for restitution of property subjected to forced sale, confiscation or other seizures during the Nazi period.

“The formal commitment to negotiate with the Claims Conference for compensation to Jewish Nazi victims who did not receive any or only minimal indemnification and who are in need is essential for any future agreement with the government of Germany to secure new benefits for Holocaust survivors,” Miller said.