Top German Parties Demand Compensation for Baltic Jews

Germany’s two major political parties have formed a coalition to demand financial reparations for Jewish survivors of the Holocaust now living in the Baltic nations.

Members of the ruling Christian Democratic Union Party and the oppositionist Social Democratic Party recently held a news conference here, calling for the Baltic nations to take action. The Greens also joined in the initiative.

The number of Jews who survived concentration camps during World War II and are now living in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is estimated at 300 to 400.

Like other Nazi victims in the former Soviet bloc, they have received no financial compensation for their suffering.

The German government has refrained from compensation these Jews because of a concern that it might spur demands from non-Jewish victims and Jews from other countries.

The future of the initiative is seen as bleak, because many German parliamentarians oppose further compensation of Holocaust survivors.

Germany also has offered the governments of the three Baltic states funds for the construction of elderly homes for Holocaust survivors. Estonia is the only country to accept the offer.

Recently, the German government returned four pieces of property in Berlin to the city’s Jewish community.

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