Making Good Again: German Compensation for Forced and Slave Laborers

John Authers

in The Handbook of Reparations

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199291922
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603716 | DOI:
Making Good Again: German Compensation for Forced and Slave Laborers

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In 2001, 56 years after the cessation of hostilities in World War II, Germany’s federal government and a group of large German companies entered into a new reparations agreement aimed at compensating people who had been forced to work for the Third Reich against their will. This paper examines the confluence of historical circumstances that led to such a belated attempt at righting the injustice, and the political factors behind the extremely “rough” criteria that were used to allocate funds to claimants. It also examines the distribution effort itself — still not quite completed by mid-2005 — and finds that the various NGOs and governments involved in the reparations work were surprisingly successful in tracing claimants and making payments to them, given the amount of time that had elapsed.

Keywords: World War II; Germany; reparations program; Third Reich

Chapter.  13202 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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