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Germany to increase Nazi victim compensation

The German Finance Ministry [official website, in German] on Thursday gave final approval to amendments to the Luxembourg Agreement [text, PDF, in German] that will increase compensation to surviving victims [press release, in German] of the Nazi regime. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble signed the amended agreement at a ceremony in the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The amendments were initially approved by the Finance ministry in July after concluding negotiations with the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC) [official website]. The new compensation agreement expanded the number of victims eligible for compensation, offering one-time payments to some victims who were able to escape their home countries before Nazi occupation. It also expands monthly compensation for current beneficiaries of the agreement. The Finance Ministry meets with the JCC each year to discuss the Luxembourg Agreement.

Countries around the world have continued to prosecute suspected Nazis. Police in Slovakia announced in September that they had launched an investigation [JURIST report] of 97-year-old Laszlo Csatary, who is suspected of war crimes in connection with the Holocaust. In July Hungarian prosecutors charged Csatary [JURIST report] with the "unlawful torture of human beings," a war crime that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Csatary was at the top of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's (SWC) list of most wanted Nazi war criminals [BBC backgrounder], and the SWC had already called on the Hungarian government to prosecute the Nazi war criminal [JURIST report] when the center issued its annual report in April. In January the Ingolstadt Prosecutor's Office filed a motion [JURIST report] to jail Klaas Faber, a Dutch native who fled to Germany after being convicted in the Netherlands in 1947 of Nazi war crimes. Germany reopened investigations into former Nazi death camp guards in October 2011, which stemmed from the conviction of John Demjanjuk [JURIST reports], a former guard at a camp in Poland who was deported to Germany to stand trial for his alleged Nazi crimes.

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