Soviet prisoners of war filing lawsuit to demand compensations

ITAR-TASS News Agency
May 3, 2004 Monday

Soviet prisoners of war filing lawsuit to demand compensations

By Olga Fronina


Several hundred former Soviet prisoners of war are considering a
class suit to Germany’s Supreme Administrative Court with a demand to
make them eligible for the compensations that the German government
pays to the former forced toilers of the Third Reich, a lawyer
representing the POWs said.

“The class suit will be filed in May on behalf of several hundred
POWs now living in Armenia,” said Stefan Taschian, the lawyer.

In April he completed work in Moscow archives and is now in getting
familiarized with the documents on his clients in Yerevan.

The lawsuit will be addressed to the German Finance Ministry and the
fund that pays out money to the victims of Nazism.

This is not the first time that Taschian is handling such suits. Last
year, he represented the interests of two former POWs trying to get
the compensations as other categories of Nazi convicts in a Berlin

The lawsuit was rejected, however, with the judges saying German
legislation did not regard the former POWs as a category eligible for

German officials insist that all the issues pertaining to the POWs
were settled back in 1953 by the London agreement on debts and by
agreements on reparations.

These documents stipulate that only the POWs, whom the Nazis
transferred to the category of civilian convicts, can aspire to

Taschian said in this context that a group of Italians, who had filed
a suit simultaneously with his clients, had won a verdict for