Schroeder rules out Germanpayments for expellees

22nd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 September 2004, BERLIN - Germany will make no compensation payments to Germans seeking reparations for their expulsion from homes in eastern Europe after World War II, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said in an interview. Schroeder told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Thursday the claims for compensation were "legally baseless" and therefore there could be "no domestic ruling" on the issue. Schroeder has said that Berlin will not support expellee groups attempted to seek reparations from Easte

23 September 2004

BERLIN - Germany will make no compensation payments to Germans seeking reparations for their expulsion from homes in eastern Europe after World War II, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said in an interview.

Schroeder told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Thursday the claims for compensation were "legally baseless" and therefore there could be "no domestic ruling" on the issue.

Schroeder has said that Berlin will not support expellee groups attempted to seek reparations from Eastern European governments, and that the government would actively oppose any such claims brought before an international court.

The comments come ahead of a meeting in Berlin Monday with Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka to discuss the continuing controversy over war reparations.

Polish-German relations have been strained by calls from German expellees for Polish reparations and a Polish parliamentary resolution urging the government to pursue German war reparations.

However both the German and Polish governments have declared the issue of reparations to be settled.

Schroeder told the Frankfurt newspaper any internal German solution to the compensation issue "would mean us relinquishing our legal position that there are no demands for restitution from either one side or the other".

Erika Steinbach, leader of the Federation of Expellees, which represents some two million Germans born in eastern Europe, had urged the German government to make an internal settlement.

German government spokesman Bela Anda said Wednesday in a comment on Belka's visit that Berlin had made it clear it would "neither now nor in the future" raise compensation issues with Poland.

A Polish parliamentary resolution had called on the Polish government to open talks with Germany on possible reparations for the losses Poland suffered under Nazi occupation in World War II.

It followed news that another German expellees' organization, Preussischer Treuhand, was raising legal fees to reclaim real estate seized over 50 years ago in communist-ruled nations.

In his newspaper interview, Schroeder described the Polish parliamentary resolution as "wrong, untenable and not capable of being carried out".

DPA

Subject: German news

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