Germany gives extra money to victims of communists

6th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 July 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Germany awarded pension top-ups Friday to some 42,000 people who were imprisoned for political reasons under communism in East Germany. The compensation legislation cleared its final hurdle with a vote in the Bundesrat upper house. East Germany ceased to exist in 1990 when Germany was reunified after the collapse of communist authority. For four decades, the communists rigged elections, locked up political opponents and shot people dead if they tried to escape from the state, wh

6 July 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Germany awarded pension top-ups Friday to some 42,000 people who were imprisoned for political reasons under communism in East Germany.

The compensation legislation cleared its final hurdle with a vote in the Bundesrat upper house. East Germany ceased to exist in 1990 when Germany was reunified after the collapse of communist authority.

For four decades, the communists rigged elections, locked up political opponents and shot people dead if they tried to escape from the state, which was formed from the Soviet zone of occupation of Germany.

The other three zones of Germany formed West Germany from 1949 and adopted a democratic system.

Pension supplements of 250 euros monthly will be paid to people over 65 if they spent more than six months in the East German jails for political offences, but common criminals will not benefit.

The supplements will apply on top of normal old-age pensions which are keyed in Germany to each pensioner's life-time earnings. Affluent people with large investment income will also be excluded from the top-up.

DPA

Subject: German news

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