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German Foundation Agreement

The United States Government played a critical role in a multilateral effort that resulted in the establishment of a Foundation under German law entitled, “Remembrance, Responsibility, and the Future” (“Foundation”). The Foundation was capitalized with DM 10 billion, valued in September 2003 at approximately 5.1 billion Euros or 5.7 billion dollars. Since June 2001, the Foundation has been making dignified payments to survivors in recognition of the suffering they endured as slave and forced laborers. The Foundation also covers other personal injury claims (including medical experiments) and certain property loss or damage caused by German companies during the Nazi era, including claims against German banks and insurance companies.

The application period for all claims under the Foundation began on August 12, 2000 and closed on December 31, 2001 (except for insurance claims applications handled through ICHEIC, whose application deadline was December 31, 2003). Applications for payments can only be processed by the relevant partner organizations of the German Foundation (see Web sites below for additional information). The partner organization also decides whether a payment will be granted.

Approximately 4.265 billion Euros have been paid to nearly 2 million surviving slave and forced laborers. This represents 98 percent of the funds available (DM 8.1 billion) from the Foundation’s capital for slave and forced labor payments. The remaining funds will continue to be paid out over the next two years. Additional information on the German Foundation and claims can be obtained from the following Web sites:

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future