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Report: WWII Poles To Sue Germany

March 28, 1999

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ A group of 22,000 Polish victims of the Holocaust plan to sue the German government for about $1.2 billion, a newsmagazine reported Sunday.

The plaintiffs, former Nazi slave laborers and concentration camp prisoners, are expected to bring their lawsuit to Bonn on Thursday, according to the Hamburg-based magazine Der Spiegel.

The brief report claimed that former Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski is supporting the lawsuit, but Bartoszewski denied that when reached by telephone Sunday.

Der Spiegel did not identify a source and gave no further details.

The lawsuit would increase pressure on the German government, which earlier this year joined with 12 major German industrial firms to establish a fund to compensate former Nazi slave laborers.

The fund is aimed at resolving U.S.-filed lawsuits seeking damages from German firms such as Siemens and Volkswagen that used slave labor to supply the Third Reich war machine.

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