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Goldmann Reports on German Acceleration of Indemnification Claims

February 1, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, expressed gratification, at the opening meeting of the Conference board of directors here last night, over the acceleration of German settlement of indemnification claims during the second half of 1959 But Dr. Goldmann expressed “carious doubt “as to whether the indemnification debt to Jewish victims of Nazism will be repaid in full by the March 31, 1963 deadline for such completion, set by the West German law on the subject.

At the same time, Dr. Goldmann commanded the speed with which West Germany is meeting its reparations obligations to Israel. Last year, for the seventh year in succession, Dr. Goldmann said, Germany has met its schedule of reparations payments to Israel as agreed upon in 1952. During 1959, he reported, Israel received from Germany goods and services valued at $60, 714,085, bringing the amount since that program was launched, to a total valued at $452, 380, 152.

By the middle of 1959, Dr. Goldmann stated, the Conference found the slow pace of indemnification processes for individuals “serious enough” to warrant an unprecedented meeting, which was held between the Conference, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, German Finance Minister Frans Etsel, and the presidents of all the West German states. At that meeting, the Conference, according to Dr. Goldmann, pointed out the following shortcomings:

1. Out of the $619, 000, 000 in indemnification payments budgeted for the fiscal year. the state and federal governments had paid out only 60 percent.

2. Two-thirds of the 2, 814, 000 claims for individual indemnification filed under the German Federal law with the individual states had not yet been settled, although processing of the claims had been going on for five years.

“We outlined to the Chancellor and to the Minister-Presidents, ” Dr. Goldmann reported, “a nine-point program. essential, in our view, for completion of the adjudications by the 1963 deadline. “The program included a call for increased staffs at indemnification offices; coordinated administrative procedures; and exploration of the possibility of standardizing procedures and settlement of administrative difficulties by agreement among the German states.


“We are deeply disturbed, ” Dr. Goldmann said, “by the recent manifestations of anti-Semitism, which are manifestations of an incorrigible minority. If these acts are not checked immediately, they may set up a chain reaction which will prove difficult to check, and will obliterate the influence of those who have brought Germany beck into a respected position.”

Compensation, said Dr. Goldmann, will be “of significance only if accompanied by moral regeneration. ” The compensation picture, he stated, showed “gratifying acceleration “since the mid-year meeting in two of the German states–Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia–which have jurisdiction over 50 percent of the individual Jewish claims. But “in some other states, ” said Dr. Goldmann, “recent results have proved disheartening.”

Indemnification payments made during the past decade, the Conference president reported, have reached a total of $1,660,411,428 as of September 1959. He expressed, on behalf of the Conference, “profound disappointment “over the failure of the German states to take steps toward the indemnification of victims of Nazism from Rumania and Hungary. At stake, the figures show, are the claims of some 40, 000 claimants from Rumania and about 1, 000 from Hungary.

“Even with the recent pick-up in the tempo of payments, ” Dr.Goldmann declared, “it appears unlikely that the target will be reached by the deadlines of March 31, 1963. We are therefore intensifying our contacts with German indemnification authorities.” Dr. Goldmann paid tribute to The Netherlands and the Dutch people for “having displayed their solidarity with the Jews during the Nazi era.”

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