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Friedrich rejects compensation for German forced laborers after WWII

The Local · 28 Aug 2011, 11:07

Published: 28 Aug 2011 11:07 GMT+02:00

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Erika Steinbach, the president of the Bund der Vertriebenen (BdV), which represents Germans who were displaced after the war, wants the government to compensate people who were required to labour in nearby countries following the defeat of the Nazis.

But the minister told Steinbach in a letter that what happened after the war was simply fate and cannot be compensated, according to the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The BdV is widely loathed in eastern Europe for consistently making calls for compensation to those Germans displaced during and after the war. While many Germans had to perform forced labour in neighboring countries, BdV opponents argue the war only took place because Nazi Germany started it.

In the letter Friedrich said his ministry does not have the money to pay €5,000 for each person affected and he estimates there are as many as 100,000 people with such claims.

Steinbach renewed her appeal on Saturday during a gathering of her group’s Tag der Heimat or Homeland Day. She called on the federal government, which has been discussing the compensation for years, to pay up.

Wolfgang Bosbach, the Christian Democratic (CDU) chairman of the Bundestag’s committee on domestic affairs agreed in principle with Steinbach’s demands.

Story continues below…

The CDU presented a draft bill in 2003 that would have compensated forced laborers, but it was rejected by the then Social Democratic-Green majority. According to the newspaper, Volker Kauder, the head of the CDU parliamentary group, plans to bring up the subject at the next parliamentary group meeting.

DPA/The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:49 August 28, 2011 by Sastry.M
Germans of Jewish faith, among the forced laborers, may be considered in principle for such compensation because they have suffered the most atrocious treatment in concentration camps also,at the behest of Christian majority.
15:48 August 28, 2011 by storymann
German soldiers in the Wehrmacht were there because they were required to by their Government. Many of these soldiers did over five years in these horrific work camps.

I fully support that they should have received compensation.

Blaming the soldiers for the war is like blaming the messenger for the message.
17:25 August 28, 2011 by vonSchwerin
That's right! The German people were not to blame at all for what happened in the war. They didn't want to invade neighbouring countries and despoil them. It was only Hitler and a few top Nazis and top generals who were to blame. And the Wehrmacht fought the war with clean hands. It's always lies about the brave and duty-true German soldier.

Maybe the Bundesregierung needs to pay compensation to all Germans. After all, was it fair that ordinary, innocent Germans had to contribute (through taxes) to rebuild foreign countries? We were living in destroyed cities, facing deprivation, as the rapacious allies -- materialist Amis and Bolshevik Russians -- divided our country.

Where is OUR compensation!!! Enough with hearing about how Germany started this so-called race war of destruction that brutalized and impoverished eastern Europe.
19:49 August 28, 2011 by Tiwaz
D Victors write History & determine who is guilty of War Crimes. Deutschland is still an Occupied Country & it's Politicians follow d Script d Victor's write for them. This Script is continuously Capet Bombed into d Deutsche People's Subconscious through d Main Stream Media, especially Hollywood. Before there will be Justice & compensation for War Crimes committed against d Vanquished, People will have to de Colonize their Minds from d Main Stream Media.
22:04 August 28, 2011 by Klaipeda
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:21 August 29, 2011 by Sastry.M

Congratulations and thank you very much! My deliberately intended stupid statement is meant to bring out true feelings of German people whose soldiers of all three services fought heroically in all fronts and against many odds. And the innocent civilian population suffered the greatest atrocities both during and after the disastrous war meted out with irrational retributions of hatred and vengeance.

My bone of contention is "consideration in Principle" which goes very well when it comes to the sufferings of all other European nationals, and especially Jewish population including the German, when any monetary compensation of benevolence is contemplated. But the majority German population of either Christian faith 'appears to be exempt' and not worthy of any such kind consideration because they only have committed atrocities and genocide against the Jews in forced labor concentration camps before and during the war and none else in other ways!

Is there anything unpardonable with 'German Christianity"? Do all basic human considerations to alleviate suffering, common to all nationalities of Christian faith irrespective of their deeds , become irrelevant and unworthy only with a mere change in name as 'German' ?

I do not mean to rake up emotions or create splits with unwarranted comparisons but only implore the benevolence and forgiving kindness of Christian people of all nations around the globe not to harp any more hatred against the Germans who, with penitence and hard work, and above all with faith in God, resurrected themselves with national reconstruction and economic recovery, paying for their bitter past and proving to the world with a healthy sustainable economy as the merit of pardon.
19:38 August 29, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
@storymann - well said! that is the absolute truth. everybody loves to blame the soldiers of the Wehrmacht (who were just soldiers fighting for their country), and it seems that horrible suffering of a population only counts if you are 1) Jewish or 2) Non-German descent. I guess massive air raids killing civilians and the Red Army raping everything is sight gets conveniently overlooked (I've never heard of a Russian on trial for war crimes). The mass population exodus after the war claimed 3 million or more lives of innocent civilians who had no control over whether their country went to war. Why does everyone think they somehow deserved this? It was a ruthless clearance of a populace that borders on "ethnic cleansing". They deserve some recognition, if not compensation and an apology. Everybody does terrible things in war - the holocaust was terrible, and so was this. It doesn't mean that one groups suffering is different from the other's.
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