Nazi compensation payoutreveals forgotten crime
6 August 2004 , CHEMNITZ - Police in eastern Germany have solved a 6-decade-old murder mystery, thanks to a scheme to compensate victims of Nazi forced labour, prosecutors said.
6 August 2004
CHEMNITZ - Police in eastern Germany have solved a 6-decade-old murder mystery, thanks to a scheme to compensate victims of Nazi forced labour, prosecutors said.
A young Pole who was press-ganged into four years of farm labour near the city of Chemnitz managed to obtain a pistol as German defences collapsed before the advancing Soviet army in April 1945.
The 20-year-old avenged himself by shooting the overbearing farm manager, then set off home for Poland. In the chaos, there were no police to stop him.
Now 80, he applied to German authorities for monetary compensation for his forced labour and inadvertently revealed his existence.
Prosecutors said they still had all the facts on file, but the statute of limitations had run out after 30 years so no homicide charges will be filed.
The German government and businesses established a huge fund that has been distributed to thousands of elderly people who were pressed into low-paid work under the Nazis. Larger sums were paid to prisoners used as slaves.
US-based historians said last month that the applications, which must detail where and when the forced labour occurred, provide a remarkable new source of historical data on events in the war years.
Subject: German news