Germans Push Pay for Nazi Slaves
BONN, Germany (AP) _ Members of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s ruling coalition urged him today to speed up compensation for slave laborers forced to work under the Nazis during World War II.
Greens lawmaker Volker Beck keyed the appeal to German observances of the 60th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a Nazi night of terror against Jews less than a year before World War II began.
``People are still alive who suffered in concentration camps or were abused by the Nazis as slave workers,″ Beck said. ``Many of them have never received adequate compensation.″
Slave laborers have not been eligible for back wages under postwar German laws on reparations for victims of the Nazis.
Schroeder has announced that he will set up a government foundation to compensate slave laborers. Talks on funding are planned with German companies that used slave labor during the war.
Also planned is a new fund to compensate victims such as Gypsies, homosexuals and people forcibly sterilized by the Nazis.
``The coalition should now start talks without delay to launch the necessary initiatives,″ Beck said.