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NEWS

German govt boosts aid to nazi victims


August 26, 2004

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
BERLIN — Compensation for victims of the Nazi Third Reich is to be increased and the number of groups eligible for payment expanded, Germany's ruling Social Democratic and Green Party coalition said Wednesday.

"Germany has a moral responsibility to ensure the dignity of (victims) as they grow older," said a statement, adding that the finance ministry had approved the move.

Monthly payments for people who were forcibly sterilized by the Nazis will be almost doubled to 100 euros (120 dollars).

"Those who were forcibly sterilized have suffered a barbarous life-long injustice. They could not set up families and are often alone in old age," said the statement.

Children whose parents were murdered by the Nazis will be able to draw benefits if they were 27 years old or younger at the time their parents were killed. Under the current law the age limit is 21.

Homosexuals convicted by Nazi military courts under a harsh 1935 anti-gay law will also for the first time be eligible for compensation, said the statement.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats and the Greens added that they would next year attempt to further increase the compensation payments to Nazi victims. – Sapa-dpa


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