Compensation - General

Immediately after the war the allies and the local German authorities made efforts to ensure that support and help would be given to victims of national socialistic persecution. As a result of this, zone compensation regulations were developed initially which later led to state compensation laws after the foundation of Federal Republic of Ger-many and finally to the Federal Republic of Germany Restitution Act accompanied by a large number of bilateral ethnological agreements. The aim of these regulations was to assuage and compensate at least financially and in this case the over riding term used for this purpose was restitution, the target of which was both the return of seized assets and financial compensation in money, something which in fact could never be achieved but was to be applied as directive to make valid claims for the im-plementation of compensation regulations.

Even after the Federal German Restitution Act had been enacted it became very quickly apparent that as a result of fresh knowledge and research that not all the relevant, historical and medical facts could not be considered at all or only inadequately in the case of various groups of persecuted people. As a consequence, way back in the year 1965 the Federal German Restitution Act was supplemented by the Federal German Restitution [BEG] Finalising Law and as a result extended and at the same time created a large number of fresh possibilities for filing claims.

Specific compensation regulations were integrated in specific special areas such as social insurance, war victim care and welfare and criminal law revisions in the course of the years besides the measures covered by the Federal German Restitution Act.

Finally, supplementary compensation regulations were put into force more especially in the last two decades by both the Federal German Government and the states which were above all directed towards such victims of national socialist persecution measures which, despite severe fates as a result of persecution who had not received any or but only little compensation up to that time.

After the German Reunion the question also arose as to the compensation of former NS-victims with principal domicile in East Europe who had not received any compensation by the German Democratic Republic or from their home countries up to then. On the basis of ethnically legislative agreements compensation benefits were to be paid to such persons from funds set up for the purpose of paying benefits to the vic-tim concerned.

Finally, reference is made to the "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future“ Fund the aim of which was to compensate former NS forced labour on the one hand but also to make up for specific pecuniary losses more especially as far as insurances were concerned.

Providing a complete list of all legislative compensation regulations and agreements would be going too far in this particular case but the above given overview makes it most clear that the efforts made by the Federal Republic of Germany and its states for restitution of the losses caused by national socialism has every right to the claim of being oriented on the aim for restitution.

Reference is made to the very instructive and detailed overview provided in the brochure „Restitution of the NS tort" published by the Federal German Ministry of Finances and the benefits provided by the public authorities up to 2002, which we are making available to you for downloading from this Internet page.

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