The Forgetfulness of Noblesse: A Critique of the German Foundation Law Compensating Slave and Forced Laborers of the Third Reich
Northeastern University - School of Law
York University - Osgoode Hall Law School
Harvard Journal on Legislation, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 1-61, Winter 2002
Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper
In August 2000, Germany’s twin houses of parliament enacted a law establishing a foundation to compensate survivors of the Nazi forced labor program. The Foundation Law was acclaimed as a victory for Holocaust survivors, despite that it sharply limits compensation amounts, denies recovery to some potential claimants, and purports to preclude further litigation of Holocaust-era claims. Proponents of the Foundation Law defended the choice to use legislation to resolve Holocaust-related claims initially brought in a judicial forum on the grounds that litigation is inherently ill-suited to that task, and justified the terms of the Law by reference to the claimants’ poor chances in the courtroom. In this article, the co-authors identify some troubling assumptions underlying these rationales and highlight the historical and political context in which they were offered.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 19, 2012
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