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Bill Would Help U.S. Survivors of Holocaust Obtain Reparations

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A panel of the House of Representatives has approved legislation that would enable U.S. citizens who were victims of the Nazi Holocaust to seek reparations from the German government.

Currently, only those victims who went through resettlement camps after World War II are eligible to seek reparations. But there were a few U.S. citizens victimized by the Nazis during the Holocaust who were repatriated back to the United States without going through the resettlement camps.

The legislation, offered as an amendment by Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), was designed to offer relief to Hugo Princz, who, although a U.S. citizen, was sent along with his brothers to Birkenau during the Holocaust because they were Jewish.

Princz’s attempts, so far unsuccessful, to seek reparations from Germany have garnered support from Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League.

Schumer’s amendment would allow Princz to sue the German government. Currently, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act limits suits against foreign governments.

Eight members of the Princz family were trapped in Czechoslovakia as World War II broke out, and were all sent to the camps.

Hugo Princz, the sole survivor, was rescued in 1945 by a U.S. armored corps. He eventually returned to the United States.

The amendment was passed by the House Judiciary subcommittee on international law, immigration and refugees, and is to be voted on by the full Judiciary Committee.

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