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"Slave Labor" in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials

Payments Until 2000

Paymnts Since 2000

Reunification and Two-Plus-Four-Treaty (1990 - 1998)

Overcoming the East-West contrast led by Michail Gorbatschow and the German reunification represent an important turning point in the history of the compensation of foreign NS victims. A new situation under international law arose which led to a new wave of compensation agreements.

The reparations issue became a current topic with the Two-plus-Four-Treaty dated September 1990. Finally, the agreement was interpreted as a virtual treaty meaning that according to the regulations of the London Debt Agreement the pending reparation payments were not to be examined. With the aid of the USA the resumption of the debate about reparation payments – unknown by the general public – could be avoided. However, in order to do that it was necessary for Germany to accommodate the end of the Cold War by catching up with the compensation of NS victims in the states of the former Warsaw Pact. Similar to what had been agreed with the Western states in the 1960s, bilateral compensation agreements were concluded between 1991 and 1998 with Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

So-called "Reconciliation Foundations" were established in those states, which were responsible for transferring the funds to the victims. In the Czech Republic, the "German-Czech Future Fund" was established, which was mutually managed by the two states. An additional fund, which was supposed to fund pensions of Jewish NS victims in Eastern Europe could be enforced by the JCC with the support of the USA.

Only until the mid 1990s the Federal Government could assume that the compensation scheme would shortly be finalised through bilateral global agreements without raising again the question for reparations and with that the outstanding issue of compensation of former forced labourers.