WJC leaders praise achievements of late Otto Lambsdorff
08 December 2009
Leaders of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) have expressed their grief upon the passing of Count Otto Lambsdorff, a former German industry minister and the chief negotiator of the German government in the negotiations for compensation to Nazi slave and forced laborers. Lambsdorff had died on Saturday aged 82. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder called Lambsdorff "a friend of the Jewish people, a committed Liberal Democrat and a fighter for justice and reconciliation."
He said: "Count Lambsdorff was instrumental in securing the historic agreement in 2001 with German industry which finally enabled compensation payments to millions of victims of the Nazi injustice and to the establishment of the Future Fund. Without him, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to secure over 5 billion from businesses and the German State and to see a small amount of justice done to the victims of the Nazis. He was a representative of the new Germany which had learnt the lessons of the Nazi era." WJC Deputy Secretary‑General Maram Stern, who participated in the negotiations with the German government, also praised Lambsdorff's role in securing compensation payments.
More than 1.6 million former slave and forced laborers received payments by the German Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future, and the remaining funds are used to support projects and initiatives that give support to the victims or aim to keep alive the remembrance of Nazi injustice for future generations.
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