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Jewish Groups Press Clinton on Holocaust Survivor’s Case

A broad coalition of Jewish groups has asked President Clinton to press German officials on the case of Hugo Princz, a Holocaust survivor denied reparations payments because he was an American citizen during World War II.

Leaders of 12 Jewish organizations signed a letter to Clinton asking him to raise the matter with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at the NATO summit in Brussels scheduled for mid-January.

“Germany’s failure to accept financial responsibility to Mr. Princz simply because of his American citizenship is a serious injustice,” the letter reads.

The letter, dated Dec. 27, calls for Clinton’s “personal intervention” in order to “produce some tangible measure of relief for Mr. Princz’s suffering.”

Princz, 70, spent three years at the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps during World War II. He is the only member of his immediate family who survived Nazi internment.

German authorities have denied him reparations payments for over 40 years because, as an American citizen, he did not meet the German government’s requirement that recipients be “stateless.”

Several members of Congress have come to Princz’s aid.

The Senate passed a resolution in November urging Clinton and Secretary of State Warren Christopher to discuss the matter with the German government.

A companion resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives in November. The House will consider the resolution when it returns from its winter recess.

Bill Marks, an attorney representing Princz without fees, said that efforts have been raised in recent weeks to call the administration’s attention to the case.

“The administration is committed to bringing this man a measure of justice,” Marks said.

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