Slave Labor Lawyers Applaud Progress in Talks With German Government And Industry, Urge Bridging of Final Gap

The following statement was released today by a group of U.S. lawyers representing Nazi-era slave laborers and property owners in suits against German industrial companies and banks: "On our return to the U.S. after participating in intensive talks in Bonn on November 16-17, we are pleased to recognize the major improvements in the proposals put forward by German industry and the German government. While the details of the negotiations must remain confidential in order to promote an eventual agreement, we note these positive aspects of the most recent German proposal. -- The German side remains committed, as we do, to reaching an agreement with all parties by December 31, 1999. -- As has been publicly reported, the German government has increased its contribution to the Fund which, in turn, has spurred German industry to further add to its share. The action of the German government comes at a time of serious budget cuts and demonstrates its abiding commitment to addressing the unfinished issues of WWII. -- German industry has broadened its participation, both in terms of the number of firms involved and their monetary contribution. The current range of up to DM 10 billion ($5.25 billion), while not yet sufficient to resolve all the claims sought to be included by the German side, represents a major step forward and demonstrates the industry's good faith effort to bring this matter to closure this year. While material progress has been made, there is still a significant gap between the parties on the final dollar amount. We urge the German side to continue to move forward toward a common ground. We pledge our best efforts to do the same. We owe this to our clients and other victims of German industry during WWII who have waited so long to be recognized." For further information contact: Stephen A. Whinston, Esq. Berger & Montague, P.C. 1622 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 Telephone: (215) 875-3000 Facsimile: (215) 875-3053 E-Mail: J. Dennis Faucher, Esq. Miller Faucher Cafferty and Wexler LLP One Penn Square West, Suite 2500 30 South 15th Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Telephone: (215) 864-2800 Facsimile: (215) 864-2810 Mel Urbach, Esq. One Exchange Place Suite 1000 Jersey City, NJ 07302 Telephone: (201) 395-4709 Facsimile: (212) 382-0020 These attorneys represent one of the three groups of U.S. lawyers for slave laborers in ongoing talks with the German government and certain German companies. They have filed suits against over a dozen German companies and banks arising from Nazi-era violations of human rights. The talks are being co- chaired by representatives of the U.S. and German governments and also include representatives of the governments of Israel, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus as well as representatives of the Jewish Claims Conference and others. ots Original Text Service: Berger & Montague, P.C. Internet: Contact: Stephen A. Winston, Esq., Berger & Montague, P.C. (USA) 215-875-3000, or Fax, 215-875-3053, or E-mail,, or J. Dennis Faucher, Esq., Miller Faucher Cafferty and Wexler LLP, 215-864-2800, or Fax, 215-864- 2810, or Mel Urbach, Esq., 201-395-4709, or Fax, 212-382-0020 Web site:

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