Friday, September 03, 2004

Nazi Sterilization Victims Get More Cash

More payouts for Nazi sterilisation victims
Wed 1 September, 2004 18:58

BERLIN (Reuters) - Some 2,500 people forcibly sterilised by the Nazis will
see their compensation payments almost double under an overhaul of state
pay-outs to Hitler's German victims.

Payments for those who were sterilised will rise to 100 euros (68 pounds) a
month from 61 euros and many other German victims of Nazi abuses will become
eligible for compensation for the first time, the German Finance Ministry
said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Nazis sterilised tens of thousands they considered "unfit" to have
children, including people who were mixed race, blind, deaf, severely
depressed or physically disabled.

"People who were sterilised suffered a terrible injustice, which affected
their whole lives. They couldn't start their own families and now in old age
they are often alone," Marga Elser and Volker Beck, lawmakers from the
ruling Social Democrat/Green coalition, said in a statement last week.

"We believe Germany has a moral duty to allow them to live out their
twilight years with dignity."

The ministry also said all those jailed by the Nazis on political, racial or
ideological grounds could claim 77 euros for each month of their
imprisonment up to a total of 2,556 euros. Previously, only some former
prisoners were eligible for compensation.

It also said it would relax the criteria for claims by children of victims
of euthanasia programmes and other Nazi-sanctioned abuses.

Six years ago Germany annulled thousands of verdicts passed by Nazi courts
in cases where people were tried under laws deemed to have violated
"elementary principles of justice" or which supported the ideological aims
of the Third Reich.