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German Reparations Pacts Will Aid 500,000 Victims of Nazis

October 6, 1952
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A half million victims of Nazism, of all faiths, and their families, residing in and outside Western Germany, will benefit directly from the agreements signed at Luxemberg last month by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Bonn Government, Dr. Nahum Goldmann, presiding officer of the Claims Conference, declared here this week-end.

Dr. Goldmann, who left this week-end for Europe and Israel, said that although the Conference negotiated only on behalf of major Jewish organizations, the agreement provides for the enactment of Federal legislation from which all victims of political, racial and religious persecution by the Nazis will benefit. He estimated that 200,000 of the total number of potential beneficiaries reside in the United States.

Dr. Goldmann refused to estimate the amounts Germany would have to pay under these provisions. However, he said that “the benefits to each individual would be considerable and the total sum impressive.” Non-Jewish victims of Nazism will benefit additionally from a global amount which the German Government has agreed to provide for them. This commitment followed, or resulted from, a separate global payment of $107,000,000 for Jewish victims negotiated by the Conference.

The Germans own estimate, Dr. Goldmann said, is that a sum of $750,000,000 to $900,000,000 will be paid out under this legislation.

Dr. Goldmann said that individual claimants will include several categories such as persons who suffered loss of liberty and impairment of health under the Nazi regime, whose property had been irreparably damaged or completely destroyed, who were deprived of their vocations and pensions, and heirs of persons who lost their lives as a consequence of Nazi persecution. The beneficiaries will include, among others, persons who were subjected to special Nazi taxes on Jews.

In addition, Federal legislation will provide for compensation for confiscated property that is no longer available. Restitution for property still available already exists.


Dr. Goldmann said that he expected this legislation to be introduced to the Federal Parliament some time this year or early next year. Enactment is expected no later than April 1, 1953. The Federal Government and the various German states will share in the expense.

Existing legislation in the various German states is unsatisfactory and fragmentary, and does not embrace all categories of Nazi victims nor provide sufficient funds, Dr. Goldmann pointed out. The Federal law will set up uniform legislation for compensation, indemnification and restitution. When this legislation is enacted, claimants will apply to special restitution offices in the areas in Germany in which the damage or suffering occurred. Special offices will have to be set up to deal with the claims of victims from Nazi-occupied territories who were never in Germany and who, for the first time, are being made eligible to benefit for their sufferings under the Nazis.

(The council of the Anglo-Jewish Association will meet in London Thursday to consider in what manner to associate with the corporation which will be formed to discharge the responsibilities of the Claims Conference in connection with the reparations pact with German, it was announced today. It will also act to insure its representation in any discussions between world Jewish organizations and the Austrian Government on claims in behalf of Jewish victims of the Nazis.)

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