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U.S. Holocaust survivors scheduled to receive German reparation funds

NEW YORK, June 21 (JTA) —Most of the Americans slated to receive money because they were imprisoned in Nazi camps should receive their shares of about $18.5 million from Germany by the end of the summer, according to a source familiar with the process. As a result of an agreement between the United States and Germany that is part of the Holocaust Claims Program, the U.S. Treasury, with funds received from Germany, will make one-time payments ranging from $30,000 to $250,000 to about 235 survivors. The agreement, reached in January, came in the wake of a 1995 settlement in which Hugo Princz and 10 other American survivors shared some $2.1 million from the German government. When the United States declared war against Germany, Princz and seven members of his family, all American citizens living in Slovakia, were turned over to the Nazis. Princz, who spent three years in Auschwitz, was the only member of his immediate family to survive the war. He then waged a 40-year campaign to earn restitution from Germany that ended in the 1995 settlement. The German government has paid more than $54 billion in reparations to survivors from Europe, but no individuals who were U.S. citizens at the time of the war had been compensated. As a result of the Princz decision, the U.S. government established the Holocaust Claims Program, which allowed American citizens who suffered at the hands of the Nazis to apply for restitution. In 1997, the U.S. Justice Department’s Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, which screened applicants for the program, ruled that only those Americans who suffered in a concentration camp or sub-camp, or were made to participate in a forced labor march were eligible for the program.