Reparations
   After the end of World War II, the Bonn Convention said that persons who were persecuted because of their race should be compensated. However, in 1950 the Interior Ministry in the German state of Württemberg told judges to remember that Gypsies were persecuted not because of their race but because they were antisocial. In 1953 a law on reparations (Bundesergânzungserlass zur Entschâdigung für Opfer des NS) made reparations available but only to Gypsies who were of German nationality, stateless, or refugees. A later arrangement (from 1959) was that West Germany would pay global reparations to Western European countries, which they would then use to pay their nationals who had suffered. In the case of Eastern European countries, a number of Gypsies who had been used for medical experiments have received reparations, but otherwise very few others have been compensated for their suffering in this period.
   In 1956 there was an important decision of the Higher Court (Bun-desgerichthof) that a Gypsy woman should not be compensated for the 1940 deportations to Poland as these, the court said, were not for racial reasons but because of the fear of espionage. In 1962, however, the Higher Court accepted that persecution had started as early as 1939 (the Blum case). In 1965 a new law (Bundesentschâdigungs-schlussgesetz) confirmed that Gypsies did not have to prove that persecution from 1938 was racial-this was assumed. Finally, a new law provided for reparations to be paid for those victims who had not yet been compensated.
   Requests have been made for block reparations to be paid to international Gypsy organizations, in particular for families where all the members perished and no one survived to claim compensation. Following the third World Romany Congress, the International Romani Union has been pursuing such a claim against first the West German and then the Federal German government. The Indian government informally offered to be the trustee for such payments. The German government has given money to German Sinti organizations for cultural and educational purposes but these payments have not been seen by the government as being a form of global reparations. Since that Congress, no progress has been made on this question, although two international funds have now been set up to provide pensions for survivors.
   See also Holocaust.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

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