Germany to compensate Jewish ghetto workers

20th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2007, BERLIN (AFP) - The German government on Wednesday said it would pay compensation to some 50,000 Jews who were forced by the Nazis to work in ghettos but failed to qualify for pay-outs from a fund for former slave labourers.

20 September 2007

BERLIN (AFP) - The German government on Wednesday said it would pay compensation to some 50,000 Jews who were forced by the Nazis to work in ghettos but failed to qualify for pay-outs from a fund for former slave labourers.

The finance ministry will pay those who come forward 2,000 euros (2,789 dollars) each, government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.

He said it was "a humanitarian gesture" aimed at people who did not receive compensation from a fund created in 2000 that paid out 4.4 billion euros to survivors of the Nazi's brutal forced labour programmes in the past six years.

"The government wanted a quick solution that is not mired in bureaucracy," Wilhelm said.

The plight of the former ghetto workers has been the subject of negotiations with the New York-based Jewish Claims Conference, which seeks to obtain compensation for Holocaust survivors.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had asked Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck to reach a settlement as soon as possible.

The setting up of the fund to compensate slave labourers was marked by legal wrangling about contributions from German companies who gained from the Nazis' labour policies during the time of the Third Reich.

Former slave labourers and their surviving relatives in more than 100 countries received pay-outs from that fund, whose administrators announced in July that they had completed their task.

AFP

Subject: German news

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