Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Adenauer Assures Goldmann Indemnification Law Will Be Improved

February 21, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer assured the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany that major amendments to improve the present Federal Indemnification Law can be expected within the next few months, it was announced here today by the Conference.

Chancellor Adenauer declared that his government and the parliament were determined to effect these amendments before the summer recess and to accelerate the processing of the claims of the victims of Nazi persecution.

The Chancellor’s assurances were contained in a letter to Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Conference. The letter was in reply to an appeal for action on several recommended improvements in the Indemnification Law which were submitted by the Conference board of directors following its recent meetings in Paris.

At the request of the board, Dr. Goldmann wrote to Chancellor Adenauer on February 6th, calling his attention to the lag in implementing the commitments made by the West German Government in behalf of individual victims of Nazi persecution and recommending certain important improvements.

“In its essence,” Dr. Goldmann wrote, “the indemnification legislation must be simplified. The maze of technicalities which are strangling the law must be abolished. The insistence upon detailed (documentary) proof, which is almost impossible to obtain, must be eliminated. There is need for expanding the categories of persons entitled to compensation and increasing the amounts to be paid. Advance payments must be facilitated and the machinery for handling the claims must be enlarged and improved.

“Perhaps most important of all, however, the spirit which animated the enactment of the law must somehow be communicated down to every official until the compensation which was promised to the claimants becomes not merely a hope but a reality,” Dr. Goldmann pointed out in his letter.

In his reply, Chancellor Adenauer wrote: “I am acquainted with the complaints, which have arisen particularly abroad, as a result of the slow pace of individual compensation. In order to bring about quick and effective improvements, new efforts are now being made. A working committee has been formed, consisting of the responsible federal agencies, the highest compensation authorities of the Laender and the Parties of the Bundestag, which is preparing as speedily as possible an amendment to the Federal Indemnification Law.”

The Chancellor stressed the fact that “it is assured that the amendments can then be enacted in the shortest possible time, certainly before the summer recess of the Bundestag and Bundesrat.” He also assured Dr. Goldmann that the most earnest attention will be given to the specific recommendations of the Claims Conference which are being conveyed in continued consultations between Conference representatives and officials of the Federal Government.

Recommended from JTA