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BRAMA, Jan. 5, 2000, 9:30am EST
Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation

Slave/forced Labor Settlement Reached
Berlin, Germany December 17, 1999

"I pay tribute to all those who were subjected to slave and forced labor under German rule and, in the name of the German people, beg forgiveness. We will not forget their suffering." With these words, the Federal President of Germany Johannes Rau solemnly addressed the closing negotiation session between representatives of forced labor and other victims of World War II and German industry at the Presidential Palace in Berlin. During the course of the 10 month long negotiations, it was evident that the German government desired that an agreement be reached before years end so that "moral closure could be achieved for Germany as the bloodiest century in Europes history came to a close.

Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of State, M. Albright and Germanys Foreign Minister, J. Fisher, announced the 10-billion DM settlement as they addressed the class action lawyers and the negotiating teams from Belarus, Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. The settlement package of 10 billion DM will be paid equally by sixty (60) German companies and the German government. This overall amount includes all claims emanating from World War II, including loss of property and insurance claims, medical experimentation and other wrongs claims, as well as slave and forced labor claims. The settlement amount also includes monies to be allocated for a "Future Fund" the purpose of which is to prevent the repeat of the atrocities of World War II.

However, although an agreement has been reached on the overall settlement amount, additional issues must be resolved before payments to the victims can begin. Firstly, the allocation of the settlement funds must be agreed upon between the various categories of claimants (slave/forced labor, loss of property, etc), as well as allocations within those categories. Secondly, the dismissal process of all of the class action cases must be initiated which process will require worldwide notification of the settlement and a subsequent claims period within which individuals can make the appropriate claims as victims. Thirdly, a distribution and audit mechanism must be put into place so that the claims can be efficiently and quickly paid. It is anticipated that payments will be processed through the existing Reconciliation Funds in all of the five (5) eastern European countries and a mechanism will be established to make payments to victims abroad. Lastly, the ten billion DM settlement must be appropriated and funded by the German industry and government. At a separate press conference, German Chancellor G. Schroeder, expressed the hope that the German Parliament will act expeditiously to adopt the appropriate legislation to fund the government portion of the settlement as quickly as possible so that payments to the aging victims can be made as soon as possible. Conservative estimates are the payments on an expedited basis can begin no earlier than the fall of 2000.

In the meantime, negotiations will continue between all of the claimant representatives and German industry so that the details of the allocations can be worked out, hopefully by the first week in February.

For further information:
Myroslaw Smorodsky. Esq.
Smorodsky & Stawnychy
75 Union Avenue PO Box 1705 Rutherford, NJ 07070
Tel: 201-939-1999 Fax: 201-507-3970

Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor
Class Action Litigation
Present status of the German settlement
· German Settlement Documents
· International Organization for Migration (IOM) Forced Labor Website IOM Holocaust Victim Assets Programme (Swiss Banks) and German Forced Labour Compensation Programme

· Austrian Settlement Documents
· Austrian Application Notice

· Forced/Slave Labor Homepage
· Brama's UkraiNewstand
· News and Related Forced Labor & Holocaust Assets sites
Press Releases
· Sep 27 02 - US Court Increases Payments Under Swiss Banks Settlement; IOM will increase by 45% the amounts distributed to members of Slave Labour Class I and the Refugee Class [IOM]
· Sep 23 02 - IOM Pays Slave Labourers Under Swiss Banks Settlement: 436 members of certain persecuted groups have received full payment for their claims [IOM]
· Jul 26 02 - Extended Hotline Hours Improve IOM Service for German Forced Labor Claimants [IOM]
· Jun 15 02 - 17,000 slave and forced laborers worldwide have received first payments through IOM [IOM]
· Feb 7 02 - Many Claimants Lack Sufficient Documentation [IOM]
· Feb 1 02 - UECC (Philadelphia) is processing applications for Austrian Compensation
· Jan 30 02 - IOM paid almost 10 percent of presumably eligible claims
· Aug 22 01 - New Filing Deadline For Claims Under Swiss Banks Settlement
· May 10 01 - Judge Kram grants Central and East European countries request for emergency relief
· Mar 13 01 - IOM is ready to make payments but Recent US Court decision may further delay compensation
· Mar 7 01 - Judges decision not to dismiss Holocaust banking cases should not deter forced laborers from filing applications
· Mar 7 01 - U.S. Court Decision on Holocaust-Era Payments
· Jan 17 01 - Ukrainian American lawyer receives Presidential recognition
· Oct 29 00 - Austrian Forced Labor Compensation Agreements Signed
· Oct 29 00 - Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Maidannyk's speech at the signing of the Ukrainian-Austrian agreements
· Oct 18 00 - Update on German and Austrian Forced Labor Class Action Litigation
· Oct 18 00 - , (UkrCP1251)
· Jul 19 00 - Forced/Slave Labor Accord Signed After Lengthy Negotiations
· May 22 00 - Austrian Forced Labor Negotiations Progress Quickly
· Apr 21 00 - Questions regarding applying for forced labor compensation
· Jan 5 00 - Slave/forced Labor Settlement Reached
· Nov 30 99 - German Forced Labor Settlement at a Crossroads
· Oct 10 99 - Germans offer 6 Billion Marks as compensation to WW II victims
· Sept 15 99, Press Release - Appeal to Ukrainian Forced/Slave Laborers
· Aug 15 99, Press Release - Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation
· Aug 12 99, Press Release - Reparations Sought by Ukrainian Slave Laborers

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