Church Compensates Forced Laborers | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 31.08.2005
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Church Compensates Forced Laborers

German Catholic dioceses have finalized a decision to compensate laborers who were forced to work at church facilities during World War II. According to an announcement made on Wednesday by the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, 587 former forced laborers will receive 1.49 million euros ($1.81 million). The church's own research team found that between 1939 and 1945, 6,089 people were made to work at 937 Catholic institutions. Of those, 4,951 were civilians and 1,138 were prisoners of war. According to Lehmann, the church decided that former prisoners of war would not receive compensation. Of the civilian group, the church found 594 people still living and offered them each 2,500 euros ($3,050). Seven of those refused the compensation.

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