Germany triples payouts to families of terror victims | News | DW | 21.07.2018
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Germany triples payouts to families of terror victims

The German government has tripled financial compensation for the families of people killed in terror attacks. The payouts will be backdated to include victims of the Berlin Christmas market attack and NSU murders.

Spouses, children and parents of people killed in terror attacks in Germany will receive a lump sum of €30,000 ($35,000) instead of €10,000 in compensation from the federal government, German commissioner for victims Edgar Franke said.

Franke, citing the Bundestag's 2018 budget, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper on Friday that victims' siblings will receive €15,000 instead of €5,000.

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According to Franke, the payments would also be distributed retroactively to include the families of the 12 people killed in the 2016 Christmas market terror attack in Berlin's Breitscheidtplatz and the families of those murdered by the neo-Nazi NSU terror cell. Relatives of Germans killed in terror attacks abroad would also qualify.

Franke estimated that in total about 300 victims' families would receive the increase. In future, children who lose a parent in terror attacks will receive an additional €45,000 in support.

About €8 million was set aside for the victims of terrorist violence and extremist attacks in the 2018 budget, an increase of €6.6 million on the previous year.

Increased support

The role of commissioner for victims was created in 2017 following widespread outrage over the way the Breidscheidtplatz victims and their families were treated by German authorities in the wake of the attack. Families had a hard time getting information about their loved ones and where to turn for help — some were sent hospital bills for postmortem examinations.

Read more: Germany's terrorism commissioner plans higher compensation for victims

"In Germany there were payments to help survivors and victims' relatives, but they were not suited to terrorist attacks and were relatively low when compared to other countries, so we had to readjust," Franke, who took over the role from Kurt Beck this year, said.

Prior to the Berlin attack, Germany had not dealt with such large-scale terror attacks, in contrast to neighboring France, Spain or Britain, Franke added.

"That's why we were not so well-prepared."

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