Originally published on Advocate.com August 26 2004 12:00 AM ET
Germany is broadening the scope of compensation for victims of Nazi-era crimes, raising monthly payments for victims of forced sterilization and easing access to benefits for gays as well as former soldiers who deserted during the Third Reich, the country's governing coalition said Wednesday.
Victims of forced sterilization will receive $121 a month rather than $73 starting September 1, Greens Party lawmaker Volker Beck and Social Democrat Marga Elser said in a statement. Beginning in 2005, the government also expects to widen the number of gays and victims of Nazi military courts receiving payments by making access easier. More children of people killed by the Nazis will be eligible for benefits. "We believe Germany has a moral duty to ensure that they [Nazi victims] live their remaining years in dignity," the lawmakers said.
No estimate was given of how many additional victims will benefit from the changes.