ITALIAN MILITARY INTERNEES NOT ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION
German Foundation confirms exclusion of former Prisoners of War
including IMIs from German Forced Labour Compensation Programme
GENEVA, 13 August 2001 –
The German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” has officially
informed the International Organization for Migration that Italian Military
Internees (IMIs) are not entitled to compensation under the German Foundation
In a letter from the Foundation’s Board of Directors dated 9 August 2001,
the German Foundation stresses that, in principle, all former IMIs are
not eligible due to their status of Prisoners of War (POW).
The statement issued by the Foundation adds that the only exception applies
to those IMI who were taken out of POW camps and detained in concentration
camps of the SS. In these cases, the POW status is considered irrelevant.
“Though we realize that compensation under the German Foundation Act is
a mere token, and that it is impossible to make up for all the injustices
and human sufferings inflicted during the Nazi era, we sympathize with
the Italian Military Internees who had to wait a long time before receiving
this clarification of their status”, Dirk de Winter, the Director of IOM’s
German Forced Labour Compensation Programme said.
As the partner organization of the German Foundation in charge of the
Italian claimants, IOM had stressed the need to solve the IMI issue at
a very early stage and has played an advocacy role. IOM has always pressed
for an early clarification of this
issue in order to avoid raising false hopes.
Meanwhile, approximately 60,000 Italian Military Internees have filed
a claim with IOM Rome and IOM stood ready to fully process those claims
if the German Foundation’s decision had turned out differently.
The German Foundation Act has entered into force on 12 August 2000. IOM
is responsible to make financial compensation available to non-Jewish
former slave or forced labourers who do not live in Poland, the Czech
Republic or a republic of the former Soviet Union.
The filing deadline for claims has been extended until 31 December 2001.
Forms, guidelines and information on all IOM compensation programmes are
available through IOM Rome, Hotline number +39-800-598859 and on the Internet