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Court Rules Siemens Not Obligated to Pay Damages to Slave Laborer

A Munich court has ruled that the Siemens Co., a German electronics giant, is not obligated to pay reparations to a former slave laborer who worked in one of its plants during the Nazi era.

The court cited the statute of limitations in finding against the 70-year-old claimant, who was an inmate of the Ravensbruck camp, where Jews and others were used as slave labor.

The woman, whose religious background is not known, had asked for more than $40,000 in unpaid wages and damages, including $5,000 in lost contributions to a pension program.

Her lawyer, Norbert Muller, said last year that the lawsuit was a test case that could slave labor reparations.

Despite the setback, an organization of anti-Nazi activists announced it would encourage residents of former East Germany to file reparations claims against Siemens and other companies that employed slave labor.

The group says the statute of limitations cannot apply to people in former East Germany, for whom it was impossible to file claims.

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