Pole handicapped in Nazi attack sues Germany

29th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

29 October 2007, Warsaw (dpa) - A 69-year-old Polish man disfigured as a child during a Nazi attack on his village is suing Germany for 1 million zloty (400,000 dollars) in damages, Poland's PAP news agency reported Monday.

29 October 2007

Warsaw (dpa) - A 69-year-old Polish man disfigured as a child during a Nazi attack on his village is suing Germany for 1 million zloty (400,000 dollars) in damages, Poland's PAP news agency reported Monday.

Lawyers for Winicjusz Natoniewski filed a suit against Germany in a court in the Baltic Sea port city of Gdansk on Monday. The case is the first of its kind in Poland.

The plaintiff claims to have sustained burns which deformed his face and hands when Nazi troops burned his village in eastern Poland to the ground on February 2, 1944. Natoniewski, then six years old, barely survived the attack.

Should the court rule in his favour, Natoniewski told reporters Friday he intends to donate part of his settlement to other burn victims.

"There are more cases like mine," PAP quoted Natoniewski as saying. "I hope my lawsuit will cause other victims to turn to the courts for compensation."

Lawyers for the plaintiff say German authorities are aware of the case and that the Warsaw-based Polish-German Foundation responsible for compensating Nazi-era slave labourers from Poland was requested to grant Natoniewski compensation in 1998. The request was not honoured.

"This has been known to the German side, after all the foundation is Polish-German," lawyer Roman Nowosielski said. "So let's not say they didn't know. Quite simply everyone was counting on the problem to resolve itself in a natural fashion, in other words, for these people to die," he said.

Lawyers have decided to work pro bono on this and possible similar cases in the future.

DPA

Subject: German news

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