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Thursday, October 21, 1999

Eizenstat Fails To Win Compensation for
Polish Nazi-Slave Victims

Negotiations on compensation for Slave and Forced Labor under the NAZI regime have been ongoing since May of this year, alternately in Washington, DC and Germany, with delegations from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Belarus and Israel, and attorneys representing class action plaintiffs against German corporations. The talks are being facilitated by the United States Department of State and the German Foreign Ministry.

The Polish American Congress has been working closely with the highest levels at the US State Department, the attorneys, the Polish government and other victim groups from the beginning to make sure that Poles who settled in the United States are included and that our concerns are heard.

The latest rounds of talks in Washington October 6-7, under the direction of Stuart Eizenstat, proved to be very disappointing. Although we were assured that Poles and other non-Jewish ethnic groups in the US would be included, it now seems that only slave laborers (those who were taken from concentration camps) and forced laborers who worked for the private German industry would be compensated. However, agricultural, domestic and government laborers would be left out. In addition, the
figures proposed by the German delegation this week were unacceptable and insulting to those who suffered.