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Report: Germany, Jews Agree on Fund

December 26, 1997

BERLIN (AP) _ The German government and Jewish groups have agreed in principle to set up a fund that would pay monthly pensions to Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe, a newspaper reported Friday.

Details are to be decided next month by Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s chief of staff, Friedrich Bohl, and the chief Jewish representative in the talks, Israel Singer, the Berlin daily Tageszeitung reported.

The newspaper did not name its sources for the report, to be published Saturday.

The Jewish Claims Conference would manage the fund and pay the pensions to between 17,000 and 20,000 people, Tageszeitung said. The report did not say how much money would be paid out.

Germany has paid about $55 billion to survivors of the Nazi regime, but those living in the Soviet bloc could not apply for compensation during the Cold War.

Since German unification in 1990, Bonn has offered one-time payments of a few thousand dollars or less to Holocaust survivors in parts of Eastern Europe and Russia, but Jewish groups and the U.S. government have said that is inadequate.

Germany agreed in August to consider giving more compensation to victims in Eastern Europe, and a panel of German and Jewish officials was created to agree on a plan.

The average age of the survivors is believed to be above 80, and Jewish groups argue that time is running out to provide them with adequate recompense.

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