Germany rejects claim from Thessaloniki Jews

Germany rejects claim from Thessaloniki Jews

Germany has rejected a Nazi-era reparation claim from the Jewish community of Thessaloniki (Salonica) but offered the group cooperation on future projects.  

“With regard to issues of reparations, there are no new developments and all these questions are answered,” a German Finance Ministry spokesman told a press conference.

The community said it had sued Germany at the European Court of Human Rights for compensation over a forced ransom paid to Nazi occupation forces. 

Jewish residents had paid 2.5 million drachmas to a Nazi commander in July 1942 to secure the release of thousands of Jewish men submitted to brutal forced labor. 

Despite the payment, raised from donations and property sales, most of the victims were later transported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland where they perished.

A German foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that Berlin was ready to work on unspecified new projects with the city’s Jewish community, independent of the legal bid.

“It’s our express proposal to pursue forward-looking projects with the Jewish community of Thessaloniki,” he told reporters. 

Click here to read the full article at Yediot Aharonot

Friday, February 28, 2014.
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