Former Slave Laborers Fight German Bid for a Settlement

Former World War II slave laborers under the Nazis said yesterday they would fight a joint plan by the German government and industry to set up a compensation fund, saying the proposed settlement was an attempt to bypass their claims.

"The survivors are ready to work toward a solution - but they will not be shut out and the German government cannot stop their claims," the group said in a statement faxed from their lawyer's US office.

Before taking office last month, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder's government said government and industry would work out a plan to settle the back-wage claims.

But the survivors are calling on the German government to recognize their right to settle their claims individually or on a class-action basis.

New York-based lawyer Ed Fagan and Munich-based Witti will accompany representatives of the group to Frankfurt today and tomorrow, where they will press their claims.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.