The struggle for World War II restitutions: How governments and companies neglect survivors.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Forced Labor, Mistreated Veterans, German WW2 Militaria: Controversial Auctions, Causes of WW2, Sudeten Germans, Footage, Films, Banks and Nazis.
Germany agrees to compensate Holocaust survivors from Algeria
Germany has agreed to pay compensation to Jews who suffered persecution in Algeria during World War II. This is the first time that Jews who lived in Algeria between July 1940 and November 1942 have been compensated by the German government for their suffering under the Nazi-collaborating French Vichy regime. 25,000 people are eligible for a one-off payment of €2,556 ($3,184), according to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, an organization that negotiates with the German government on behalf of Holocaust survivors.
As a teen, Freddie Oversteegen led nazis to their deaths by seducing them
Freddie Oversteegen was just 14-years-old when she joined the Dutch resistance during the second World War along with her sister, Truus, who was 16-years-old at the time. But the Oversteegen girls had a rather unusual job: Set up the nazis to meet their deaths by seducing them. Oversteegen, who is now 90-years-old, said she now thinks a lot about those who lost their lives during that dark time.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
Amsterdam to repay Jews fined for late rents in WWII
Amsterdam will refund relatives of hundreds of Jews who were fined for being late with their rent during their incarceration in World War II concentration camps. The issue came to light in April 2013 when a student published archive documents in which Jews who had escaped from the concentration camps were billed for arrears on properties belonging to the city of Amsterdam. The city even imposed fines for late rents on houses which had been confiscated by the Nazis and occupied by Germans or members of the Dutch National Socialist Movement, the NSB.
Germany to pay 10 million euros to surviving WWII prisoners in the former Soviet Union
German lawmakers intend to pay 10 million euros to surviving WWII prisoners in the former Soviet Union, as a "symbolic financial recognition" for their suffering. Millions of Soviet POWs died before the war's end. "The former Soviet prisoners of war are the second largest group of victims of the Nazis, after the Jews," German lawmaker Hans-Ulrich Krüger said.
Croatia Returns $4 Million Property to Jewish community as Holocaust Restitution
Croatia has announced that it will give land and an office building, in capital city Zagreb, valued at about $4 million, to the city's Jewish community as restitution for property expropriated from the community during World War II. Zagreb's Jewish community will receive a six-story building and a surrounding parcel of land. The building will replace a building once owned by the city's Jewish burial society. The Zagreb Jewish Community has been fighting for years for the return of the original building, which was built in 1927 by the burial society. They first filed a claim back in 1997. Croatia, part of Yugoslavia from 1918 until an ugly civil war in 1991, was occupied by Germany and Italy in 1941. The Nazi-allied government incorporated several parts of Yugoslavia into the Independent State of Croatia - a Nazi-backed puppet state.
Inside story of the abduction of Nazi general Freidrich-Wilhelm MÃ¼ller in Crete
Appalled by the ruthless reprisals of Major-General Freidrich-Wilhelm Müller against the resistance in Crete, the British Special Operations Executive was ordered to kidnap him. On the night of April 26, 1944, Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, Captain 'Billy' Moss and a handful of Greek soldiers carried out a daring and successful abduction — except that they brought back Major-General Heinrich Kreipe, a principled classicist who had replaced Müller shortly before the SOE operation. In an exclusive extract from a new book, Abducting a General, Leigh Fermor reveals for the first time how they did it.
Nazi ghetto workers to get pensions at last
Many workers from the ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe have fought for their entitlement to full pension payments for years. The German government has now promised a quick and uncomplicated solution.
Dutch resistance fighter recalls German occupation during World War II
The story that led Jules Weyers to emigrate to the United States is one painted by a world at war. After being involuntarily made to work at a German arms factory, he escaped to the Dutch Underground, then became a member of the fighting arm of the Dutch resistance against German occupation and later became part of the Stoottroepen, or 'shock troops,' tied to the 9th American Army. Although it has been nearly 69 years since the end of World War II, for Weyers it was just like yesterday when the Germans rolled into his country with tanks, soldiers and false promises.
Germany to pay Holocaust victims new 800 million euros compensation
Germany has agreed to pay an extra 800 million euros (£685 million) to help care for Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. It is thought about 56,000 people worldwide will benefit, one third of them in Israel. The aim is to help ensure elderly Holocaust survivors can live their final years in dignity. Germany has also agreed to widen the scope of those eligible, to include people who lived in open ghettos.
Jewish groups keep up 67-year battle for Holocaust restitution in Eastern Europe but many nations lag
More than 67 years after the Holocaust, Jirina Novakova refuses to give up her battle to regain property confiscated from her family. Her hopes got a boost two years ago when 43 countries vowed at a Prague conference to back global guidelines for the restitution of property confiscated from Jews to their rightful owners or heirs. The nations pledged to try harder to return real estate stolen by the Nazis, open archives and to process claims for restitution faster. She thought that show of determination would pressure her country, the Czech Republic, and help her win a court battle to get back a button factory seized by the Nazis. But the 62-year-old is still waiting. Recently, Novakova was among 200 people from 41 countries attending another international conference in Prague to review the progress made and put renewed pressure on European governments to restitute such property or provide fair compensation.
Germany agrees to compensate $300 million to 80,000 Nazi victims in former Soviet Union
Germany has agreed to provide restitution payments to an additional 80,000 Jews in what Claims Conference officials are calling a historic breakthrough. The agreement, reached in negotiations between German officials and Claims Conference representatives, is likely to result in additional payments of $300 million. Most of the money will go to Nazi victims in the former Soviet Union who have never before qualified for pensions or payments from German restitution money. Most of the money will come from the Hardship Fund, which grants one-time payouts of 2,556 euro to Jews who fled the Nazis as they swept eastward through Europe.
Austrian Nazi victims fund closes after paying out $210 million out of total claims of $1500 million
An Austrian fund to compensate victims of Nazi persecution is shutting down after paying out $210 million for just a fraction of its recognized claims. A statement from the Reparation Fund for the Victims of National Socialism said that it was ending its work after dealing with the last of 20,702 applications since it began in 2001. The fund recognized claims amounting to $1.5 billion. Because it was able to pay out only a fraction of that because of limited finances, the chairman, Sir Franklin Berman of Britain, said the compensation could be seen only as a "late gesture of reconciliation."
Lithuania to compensate Jewish community for property seized during the Nazi and Soviet eras
The Lithuanian government has announced that it will begin compensating the country's small Jewish community for property seized during the Nazi and Soviet eras. Over the next decade, 36.5 million euros will be allocated to fund Jewish educational, religious, scientific, cultural and social welfare projects in this small Baltic land. Needless to say, there can be no full compensation for the suffering endured by Lithuanian Jewry as the Holocaust in Lithuania was among the swiftest and most thorough in all of Europe. During the Soviet era, Jewish culture was further crushed.
German railway fears flood of lawsuits over Holocaust trains, hires law firm to fight off US compensation claims
The German railway company Deutsche Bahn has engaged a New York law firm to fight off compensation claims that it might face under proposed legislation enabling Holocaust victims to sue for damages in US courts. The state-owned network is the main successor to the Nazi-run Deutsche Reichsbahn which deported millions of Jews to death camps. Deutsche Bahn has in the past compensated Holocaust victims plus the German Foundation Agreement reached with the US in 2000 was considered to have resolved all outstanding claims. But under the laws proposed by the US Holocaust Rail Justice Act, Deutsche Bahn fears it could face fresh compensation claims in US courts.
Polish resistance veteran Michal Issajewicz took part in the shooting of SS general Franz Kutschera
Michal Issajewicz (codename Bear), who died aged 91, took part in the shooting of General Franz Kutschera, Chief of the SS and Police in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. The operation was carried out in reaction to a rash of public executions under Kutschera's authority. Michal Issajewicz drove a car in front of Kutchera's limousine as the general was driven to work at SS HQ on 1 February 1944. Having blocked the car, Issajewicz leapt out fired shots at the general, who died on the scene. A shoot-out ensued with German guards, and 4 of the 9 Polish participants perished in the aftermath. The following day, a hundred Polish civilian hostages were shot on Ujazdowski Avenue as a revenge.
Germany to compensate Jews who fled the Nazis in the Soviet Union
Germany has agreed to grant one-time compensation to Jews who fled the Nazi onslaught in the Soviet Union during World War Two, even if they ended up in regions that Nazis did not conquer, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced. Payment will go to Jewish victims of Nazism from the former Soviet Union who live in Israel, the United States, Germany and other Western countries. This is the first time the German government has recognized the suffering of those who fled for their lives.
Germany agrees to pay pensions to 66,000 Holocaust victims from around the world
Germany has agreed to pay pensions to about 16,000 additional Holocaust victims from around the world after a year of tough negotiations. The survivors who will benefit are mostly those who were once starving children in Nazi ghettos or forced to live in hiding for fear of death. The agreement was made between the New York-based Claims Conference and the German government. Of the new beneficiaries, 5,000 live in the U.S. Germany will now pay reparation pensions to a total of 66,000 people who survived Nazi death camps and ghettos, or had to hide or live under a false ID.
Austrian Holocaust survivors battle to reopen looted property compensation claim
Adolf Hitler's march into Vienna in 1938 was the start of a nightmare for the city's 200,000 Jews. Many were evicted from their homes and their property confiscated before they were shipped to concentration camps. For decades, Holocaust survivors and their descendants have battled for restitution or compensation. In 2001, the Austrian government acknowledged its previous efforts had not been adequate and signed the Washington Agreement, granting 146 million euros to claimants. But that's a fraction of what they're owed, says Martha Raviv, an attorney and Israeli spokesperson for the survivors' group.
Germany pays compensation to Moroccan Jews whose freedom of movement - like entrance to parks - was curtailed by Axis powers
For the first time since the end of the Second World War thousands of Moroccan Jews will be recognized as Holocaust survivors and receive compensation from the German government. According to the agreement drafted between the Claims Conference and the German government they will each receive $3,800 in compensation. Eligible are Jews whose freedom of movement (like entrance to parks, movie theaters, use of public transportation, etc) was restricted in some way by the Nazis and their allies.
Poland suspends World War II property restitution for Jews
Jewish organizations and the U.S. administration have both objected to Poland's decision to freeze work on the restitution of Jewish property confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and under communism. The decision comes only 3 years after PM Donald Tusk announced that a piece of legislation would be drafted to offer compensation 20% of the property value for the Jewish families of former property owners.
"Most Central and Eastern European countries have adopted some type of law to provide for the restitution of or compensation for confiscated property. Poland stands out for its failure to do so," explained Ronald S. Lauder, chairman of the World Jewish Restitution Organization.
US Congress may support Holocaust survivors seeking $20 billion in unpaid WWII-era insurance policies
Holocaust survivors trying to collect $20 billion in unpaid life insurance policies finally have some hope after members of Congress filed a legislation which would allow them to sue European companies like German's Allianz SE and Italy's Assicurazioni Generali in American courts.
After the Second World War Several companies refused to pay life insurances to Jewish families, because they did not have death certificates for people who perished in Nazi camps.
Germany doubles money for the at-home care of aging Holocaust survivors
The German government doubles the money it gives for the at-home care of aging Holocaust survivors, increasing it to 110 million euros ($146 million) worldwide for 2011. The need for at-home care continues to grow until 2014, when the number of deaths will catch up with the number of newly frail.
17 arrested in New York in connection with a $42.5 million fraud against a Holocaust compensation fund
17 persons - including 6 staff members of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany Claims Conference, which issues payments to Holocaust victims - are charged with making false financial claims using forged documents.
WWII role hampers French rail company's bid on the first high-speed tracks in the U.S.
The French national railway's bid on the first high-speed tracks in the U.S. is opposed by Holocaust survivors because of the company's part in transporting Jews to Nazi death camps. One of those leading the charge is Rosette Goldstein, whose father was seized by French authorities, crammed in a cattle train, and delivered to his death. Goldstein and others - including legislators - want the railway (SNCF) to formally apologize for its WWII role, open up its archives, and pay compensations. The company, which charged per victim and kilometer, argues that it had no control over operations in Nazi occupied France.
Website aims to help Guam's World War II survivors to seek compensation
Regina Reyes can still recall the details of life under Japanese occupation: how her husband was forced to labor for the Japanese, and how he left one day to work for them, never to be seen again. She's still waiting to find out what happened to him. And she remembers the day a Japanese soldier came to visit, armed with a gun and bayonet. "He pushed me down and sexually assaulted me." In spite of years of efforts on the part of Guam delegates, Guam WWII survivors have never received the reparations or recognition they seek from Congress. guamwarsurvivorstory.com features the testimony of 30 survivors to increase public awareness.
Rubber soldiers: Long-forgotten Brazilian World War II workers fight for the promised compensation
In the Brazilian Amazon, workers drafted in to help the Allies in WWII are dreaming of a home they left in 1943. Now in their mid-80s, they are awaiting the results of legal moves that may bring them the recognition and compensation they were promised. In 1943, while the Allies were fighting on the WWII battlefields, Brazilians were being pressed to do their own patriotic duty. Rubber soldier Manuel Pereira de Araujo recalls: "An army official ... told us we could join the fight on the front line in Italy or go to the Amazon. He said we would become heroes in the rubber battle and get rich tapping rubber."
The Austrian National Library pays for books looted by Nazis from Jews
The Austrian National Library paid 135,000 euros for books (8,363 in total) in its possession that were looted by the Nazis from Jews during World War 2. In a symbolic gesture, library director Johanna Rachinger handed over the books to the Austrian National Fund for the Victims of National Socialism. With the agreement to buy them back at their market value, so proceeds can go to Nazi victims who had not so far received any compensation. In 2003 the national library decided to return 52,403 books looted by the Nazis after the annexation of Austria to their owners. It had succeeded in returning 35,217 so far.
Holocaust survivor heirs sue Hungarian railway company MAV for $1.24 billion
Heirs of Jews killed in the Hungarian Holocaust of 1944 filed a lawsuit at a Chicago court against Hungarian state railways MÁV, demanding compensation of $1.24 billion for MÁV's part in deporting Jews during WWII. Plaintiffs bring this action for compensation, restitution, reparations, and punitive damages against the MÁV for: Active participation in the Nazi genocide... and looting the plaintiffs’ possessions... then destroying the ... records of these thefts. The Hungarian genocide was the single most extensive Nazi genocide, but not even 1% of the financial losses has been restituted.
The two largest groups representing Nazi victims demand compensation from Deutsche Bahn
The two largest organizations representing victims of the Hitler's Third Reich are demanding compensation be paid to concentration camp inmates by Deutsche Bahn (DB) railway. They base their claim on the fact that the World War II -era Reichsbahn railway had made profits on Nazi transports of captives destined for death camps and forced labor. The present Deutsche Bahn was formed from the company assets of its WWII predecessor. A German organization, Train of Remembrance, calculates that German Reichsbahn earned half a billion euro from the Nazi ordered transport of Polish captives.
Women's labor corps refuse 99 Yen payment from Japanese government
Members of a support group for South Korean women who had been forced to serve in the women's labor corps during the Second World War held a press conference in front of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries auto display center in Gwangju City to pressure the Japanese government to reexamine its decision to pay 99 Yen in response to their administrative lawsuit for pension compensation. 81 years old Yang Geum-deok, who had served in the women labor corps in Japan returned the 99 Yen to the Japanese government: "If the Japanese government was a sensible one, it would not have given me this pittance."
World War II's lost treasure: States Battle U.S. for billions in war bonds
70 years ago, the federal government began issuing hundreds of billions in savings bonds to finance the biggest war effort in the America's history, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt buying the very first. But the war bonds came with a catch: They wouldn't be paid off for 40 years, a remarkably long time. As the decades passed after World War II, $16.7 billion worth of bonds were forgotten in attics or thrown out in the trash. That WW2 treasure has remained unclaimed. But now a half-dozen state governments have filed a case against the federal government. They say the Treasury Department has done nothing to find the original bondholders or their descendants.
Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth fights for return of Nazi-seized land
Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth is the 5th Prince of Solms- Baruth, and grandson of Prince zu Solms-Baruth III, whose land and property (in the family since the 16th century) was seized by the Nazi's after a bomb plot to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944 - a claim dismissed by a court in Potsdam in 2008. "We will appeal as many time as required," zu Solms-Baruth said. Experts taking the stand in the case included historian Anthony Beevor and Germany's Institute of Contemporary History. They explained that torture suffered by the prince's grandfather before he gave up ownership of his property meant that it had been "illegally lost."
FAQ on Filipino World War II veterans equity compensation fund
The President of the United States signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17, 2009, authorizing a one-time payment to eligible WWII Philippine veterans. This benefit will not affect other existing Veterans benefits. (Q) Who is eligible for the new benefit? (A1) Persons who served before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces. (A2) Members of the guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the U.S. Army.
Germany annoyed: Italian court orders Germany to pay WWII compensations
Germany filed a lawsuit against Italy at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to prevent Italian courts from granting restitution to victims of Nazi war crimes. Germany is challenging a ruling by Italy's highest court ordering Germany to pay 1 million euros to the families of 9 victims killed by the German army in Civitella in 1944. It was the first time an Italian court had ordered Germany to pay compensation in a criminal case. "In recent years, Italian judicial bodies have repeatedly disregarded the jurisdictional immunity of Germany as a sovereign state," Germany said in its application.
Grandson of anti-Hitler plotter seeks restitution for lost family estate
German aristocrat Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth was seized by the Gestapo the day after a failed 1944 bombing attempt on Adolf Hitler and thrown into the secret police's infamous Prinz Albrecht Strasse prison in Berlin. Unlike scores of others linked with the Kreisau Circle of plotters who were executed, he was freed - but not before he had signed away ownership of his family's estates on the order of Gestapo and SS boss Heinrich Himmler. Now Solms-Baruth's grandson Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth is carrying on the family's fight for compensation, taking his case to court. At stake is 7,000 hectares of land in the state of Brandenburg.
Settlement will allow WWII Mexican Laborers in U.S. to collect back pay
Tens of thousands of Mexicans who labored in the United States under a World War II-era guest worker program will be entitled to collect back pay under a settlement to a long-crusaded case. 200,000-300,000 laborers, called braceros, worked as farmhands or railroad workers 1942-1946, and under the program, a portion of their pay was subtracted and transferred to the Mexican government to be given to the workers when they returned to Mexico. But many laborers never got the pay, and many never even knew that 10% of their wages was deducted. Under the settlement Mexico would give each bracero, or a living heir, 3500 US dollars.
Survivors of Japan's World War II POW death camps seek compensation
On Sept. 9-12, 2008, WWII veterans of the Pacific Theater will be in Washington to back up an amendment to the Senate Defense Authorization Bill that will compensate the living American survivors or their spouses for their experiences in Japanese POW death camps. These veterans represent the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor and the USS Houston CA-30 Association. 27,000-36,000 Americans were caught by Imperial Japan. Held in brutal captivity, these POWs were slave labor for at least 50 Japanese companies including Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Nippon Steel, and Hitachi.
Compensation for French women who worked for Nazi paramilitary organisations
French women who were forced to work for Nazi paramilitary groups will get compensation (800 euros each) under an agreement. The women are all from the Alsace and Moselle regions which were disputed by Germany and France for much of the 19th and 20th centuries and seized by Nazi Germany when it defeated France in 1940. The Nazis saw the people of the area as Germans and 130,000 were forced to join the Wehrmacht. Over 86,000 were compensated in 1981, but no compensation was offered to those who were forced into Nazi paramilitary organisations (support staff for the Wehrmacht, workforce in weapons factories).
Nazi compensation claims threaten German centers in Italy
If Germany refuses to pay compensation to Nazi victims in Italy and Greece, its cultural institutes in Italy might face troubles. The Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome has ruled that compensation claims by interned Italian soldiers who were forced into labor by the Nazis are legal, dismissing Germany's view that Berlin's "sovereign immunity" meant it could not be sued in an Italian court. Germany had denied compensation to the soldiers who were interned after Fascist Italy declared a truce in 1943. The Nazis then assumed control in Italy and deported many of the interned Italian soldiers to Nazi Germany to work for no pay.
Serbs, slaughtered by Croatians in WWII, won't seek compensation (Article no longer available from the original source)
Serbia's President Boris Tadic said his country will not seek compensation from Croatia over WWII-era crimes against Serbs. He said the opening of such cases would only make worse the wounds that are still healing after the 1991-1995 conflict between Croatia and its Serb minority. "It is up to the victims' family to find a solution to such cases," said Tadic, whose relatives were killed by Croatian fascists, known as the Ustasha. Thousands of Serbs died during the Nazi puppet regime led by the Ustasha 1941-1945. Croatia is currently suing Serbia for genocide in the 1991-1995 conflict.
Belgium's banks and government to pay Holocaust survivors $170 million
David Susskind made it by fleeing to Switzerland, and joining the French Resistance. When he traveled back to Belgium after the war, he had nothing. His mother died in the Nazi death camp. Strangers lived in his home. "We lost everything. There was nothing." Now Belgium's banks and government sought to make material amends, declaring $170 million in restitution for the Jewish community and families of Holocaust survivors whose goods were looted by Nazi occupiers. $54m will be paid to individual claimants, with the rest going to a Jewish trust that will help the poor and keep the memory of the WWII horrors alive.
Berlin to Compensate Nazi Germany's Former Ghetto Workers
The German govt announced it would pay compensation to 50,000 workers in Nazi Germany's Jewish ghettos who previously failed to qualify for payouts from a fund for slave laborers. Spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said cabinet had approved a plan to award one-off payments of 2,000 euros ($2,789) to those who have not yet received compensation from the Holocaust Memorial Fund. Compensation for ghetto workers, whose wages would have been negligible, is one of the last outstanding compensation claims dating back to Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.
600 Chinese wartime forced laborers receive aid - for the first time
A ceremony was held to grant nongovernmental financial aid to 586 survivors of forced Chinese laborers in the Second World War, most of whom were reduced to slavery-like labor by the Japanese army in the 1930s and 1940s. Each living survivor was given 1,000 yuan (131 U.S. dollars). They obtained domestic aid of the kind for the first time. The 586 former forced laborers were the only survivors that Chinese Federation of Demanding Compensation From Japan (CFDC) knew to date. 40,000 Chinese were forced to be slavery-like laborers in 135 laboring sites of 35 enterprises in Japan 1943-1945. More than 6,800 Chinese teenage laborers died of exhaustion.
Survivors of WWII Tokyo air raids begin case for compensation
Civilian survivors of U.S. World War II air raids on Tokyo testified in court in a bid to win compensation for their suffering and to put the brakes on the drive to amend the war-renouncing Constitution. The suit, filed by 112 plaintiffs, alleges the government indirectly caused the attacks on Tokyo by prolonging the war and neglected its duty to compensate civilians after the attacks. They are demanding an apology and 1.23 billion yen in reparations. According to the suit, Tokyo endured more than 100 air raids by the U.S. military from Nov 1944 to Aug 1945, including the Great Tokyo Air Raid on March 10, 1945, that killed 100,000.
Karstadt Settles Claims on Nazi-Seized Land with $117 million
The German retailer KarstadtQuelle AG paid $117 million to the heirs of the Wertheim family to settle claims over Berlin property seized from the Jewish-owned business by the Nazis. The agreement is one of the biggest-ever in a nazi-horrors-related restitution case. It settles a battle that's dogged the Wertheims, once one of Germany's most prominent retail families, since Adolf Hitler seized their property in 1937. Four years after the Nazi regime began Aryanizing Jewish property, Hitler in 1937 forced the Wertheim property land into government hands. His Reich-chancellery and the Nazi Party headquarters were built on part of the land.
A greek village lost battle to force Germany to pay compensation
A village in Greece which suffered the country's worst massacre of WWII has lost its battle to force Germany to pay compensation. The European Court of Justice rejected the legal arguments of Kalavrita, where 670 men and boys were murdered by German soldiers in 1943. Germany has always maintained that it had settled its debt to Greece with a 1960s treaty in which 115m Deutschmarks were handed over. But survivors have never accepted that as a final settlement. The occupying Wehrmacht carried out the executions in retaliation for an attack by the Greek resistance.
1,100 British subjects interned by the Japanese denied payments
More than 1,000 British subjects interned by the Japanese during World War II are not getting compensation, a defence minister Derek Twigg said. About 1,100 British subjects without close blood links to the UK had been ruled ineligible for a £10,000 payment. The compensation scheme could not be extended to include all people regarded as British citizens during WWII, as this would allow large groups such as former Indian soldiers to make claims. In the last 7 years 25,000 people have received payments totalling £250m.
Last chance of Siberian Japanese soldiers and civilians (Article no longer available from the original source)
Former Japanese soldiers and civilians detained in Siberia as "slave laborers" by Soviet forces after World War II lost their last chance winning government redress for their ordeal. The bills offer instead travel coupons and other goods worth a total of 100,000 yen per person. Before and during WW2, many Imperial Japanese Army soldiers and citizens were based in northeastern China and the northern Korean Peninsula, then occupied by Japan. After the end of WWII, 580,000 were taken mainly to Siberia by Red Army troops. There, they were made to work as forced laborers on projects, often under brutal conditions.
Germans file WWII claims against Poland
A group of Germans kicked out of Poland after World War 2 want restitution for lost property, arguing that their rights were violated when Eastern Europe's boundaries were redrawn and they were driven from their homes. The case has put fresh strains on German-Polish ties — a relationship still troubled by memories of Nazi brutalities. The Prussian Claims Society complaint filed with the European Court stems from territorial rearrangements reached after WWII by the Allies — the U.S., U.K. and the Soviet Union — at the 1945 Potsdam conference, which gave large parts of eastern Germany to Poland.
Court Refuses to Return Seized Art to heirs of Nazi Doctor
The Leipzig Court said there were no grounds for the restitution of art which has been confiscated by Soviets after World War 2 because the doctor had been a promoter of Adolf Hitler's ideology. "The aim of this function was to spread national socialist ideology." Hundreds of oil paintings were confiscated from Gustav Schuster, who was Director of the Chemitz Women's Clinic, during the WWII. The artworks are worth at least 500,000 euros. The decision, had it have been different, could have opened the doors to thousands of other claims about goods confiscated 1945-1949 by the Soviet forces.
Italian insurance firm settles Nazi-era suit
Italy's leading insurer Generali has settled a class-action suit over policies issued to thousands of Holocaust victims. Generali was one of the biggest insurers in eastern Europe before World War Two. U.S. law firm Kohn said in a statement that the settlement covered all individuals or their ancestors who purchased a Generali policy 1920-1945 and still held it at the time of the Nazi persecutions. The Simon Wiesenthal Center had also clashed with Generali, accusing it of holding back archive material and refusing to settle the claims.
Germans paid 63 billion euros in Third Reich compensations
Since 1949 the German state has paid out about 63 billion euros in compensation for the horrors under Nazi Germany during Adolf Hitler's Third Reich from 1933 to 1945. However the German government said it saw no reason to pay compensation to Italian soldiers interned by Nazi Germany from 1943 after the Italy surrendered to the Allies - and held until Nazi Germany capitulated in 1945 - are not eligible for compensation as slave labourers. A compensation package for Nazi era slave labourers, half by the German state and half by private industry, only covers civilian slave labourers - not soldiers.
Time runs out on IBM assisting the Nazi Germany suit
IBM welcomed a ruling by Switzerland's supreme court that rejected a bid to sue the US computing giant for allegedly abetting the Nazi genocides of World War II. The ruling spelt the end of a long battle, in which it was claimed IBM's punch-card machines enabled the Nazis to boost the efficiency of their killing operations. The action followed the book "IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation" by Edwin Black.
More Japan POWs to get payments
More British civilians held by the Japanese during World War II will get compensation, the government has said. About 300 former internees were denied payments as they were born abroad and had no UK-born parent or grandparent. The Ministry of Defence says the definition of Britishness has narrowed since the days of the Empire. If those Japanese prisoners of war born in countries which have since become independent, such as India, were compensated, it would cost "hundreds of millions of pounds", it has said.
Restitution uncovers family's pre-WWII prosperous legacy
Within the next few weeks, Barbara Principe, a 73-year-old New Jersey woman who still lives near the chicken farm where she grew up, will begin receiving payments from millions of dollars in real estate in the former East Berlin. Last month, Germany's restitution court, set up after WWII to provide restitution for property seized during the Nazi regime, validated the claim of the Wertheim heirs, Principe and about 24 others, to a number of properties owned by her father's department store chain. Those properties are now valued at about $350 million, making her family's restitution award one of the largest since the Holocaust.
(New York Times)
Croatia agrees to pay Italy 34m dollars for WW2 refugees
Top Croatian officials do not believe that there are any unresolved issues in connection with Esuli [Italians exiled from Croatia after Second World War]. We owe Italy 34m dollars. We would like to pay this money as soon as Italy provides the number of the account into which this money could be paid. This would be the end of all affairs to do with the Second World War. Although no compensation has been paid to croatian citizens whose houses were burnt, who were in Italian prisons or camps without trial.
Belgian holocaust survivor to sue Monaco
Jean Geismar has been fighting for the past 10 years for Monaco to recognize its involvement in the deportation of Jews. His relatives left Belgium after the German invasion in 1941. In March 1944, after three years of residency in Monaco, they were arrested and sent to Drancy, the French transit camp. From there, they were sent to Auschwitz and never came back. An official document shows that the couple was in possession of various valuable objects and receipts from a Monaco bank. "However, neither the authorities nor the bankers want to recognize these official documents," Geismar said.