- Compensationsearch for term
Restitution of expropriated, stolen real estate and money (arisation) and individual compensation paid to the victims of National Socialist persecution for physical and mental suffering endured. In Germany, the legal term "Wiedergutmachung" [restitution and compensation] became generally accepted to describe the complex framework of treaties and laws related to compensation, because it has a connotation of "paying a penalty for something". This term was used colloquially, however, it did not appropriately describe the problem. Compensation claims had already been discussed by Jewish organisations and the US-administration before the end of the Second World War. The first international agreement was signed in the end of 1945: the Paris Agreement on Reparation, signed by 18 allied states. The law on restitution (US-REG) was passed in 1947 on an initiative of the United States. The German Federal Law on Restitution (Bundesrückerstattungsgesetz) was only passed in 1957. Compensation and restitution were unpopular and led to resentments against those who were entitled to it. Collective agreements of the Federal Republic of Germany: 1952, with Israel and the Claims Conference. Individual compensation starting from 1953 according to the Federal Compensation Law (Bundesentschädigungsgesetz). The law put certain groups at a disadvantage, e.g. non-German victims of National Socialism and a number of German groups, like the Sinti and the Roma, communists, pacifists, homosexuals, those concerned by the Nazi laws on hereditary diseases and so-called anti-social elements. Only 1.5 million out of an estimated total 20 million of victims of National Socialist persecution actually received any compensation. The procedures to establish the damage endured and the compensations actually paid for severe suffering came under harsh criticism. Until the end of the 1990ies, the Federal Republic of Germany had paid a total of 100 billion DM for compensations, 80% of these monies went to Jewish Holocaust survivors. In July 2000, the German parliament set up the foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility, Future" for the compensation of the about 1.2 million surviving forced labourers who had worked for German industries during National Socialism.