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BRAMA, October 29, 2000, 7:00pm EST
Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation

Myroslaw Smorodsky, P.A.
Petro R. Stawnychy, P.A.

Smorodsky & Stawnychy
A Partnership of Professional Corporations
counsellors at law
75 Union Ave., 1705
Rutherford, New Jersey 07070-1705
(201) 939-1999
fax: (201) 507-3970 
Internet E-Mail
WWW Site

of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Olexandr Maid Maidannyk at the official ceremony of the signing of the Ukrainian-Austrian agreements
(Vienna, 24 October 2000)

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The legal basis of the Ukrainian-Austrian relations has just been supplemented by one more agreement. It is the 28th agreement signed in the history of our relations. However, it has a special meaning, because it addresses the basic needs of the people. Its social importance and human dimension is what makes it special.

On behalf of the Government of Ukraine I would like to congratulate you all with this event. Let me express our profound gratitude to the Federal Government of Austria for the historic decision on voluntary payments to the victims of Nazism. Your good will and humanitarian initiative is much appreciated by the Ukrainians who were sent by the Nazi regime to slave and forced labor.

It is symbolic that we sign these agreements on the International Day of the United Nations. Today we celebrate the 55th anniversary of this organization. And upholding the main principles behind its foundation and contemporary activity, the Republic of Austria and Ukraine are both making a considerable contribution to the cause of reconciliation, peace and cooperation between the nations of Europe by putting our signatures on these documents.

Millions of Ukrainians fought against the Nazis during World War II contributing to our common Victory. More than 43,000 people, who were slave laborers in the war on the territory of the present-day Austria, live now in Ukraine. Almost all of them are now over 70 years old. About one-third of them are disabled, and many suffer from chronic diseases. The death rate of the Nazi victims doubles the same figure for other people of their age.

These were the reasons and crucial motivation for Ukraine to actively participate in the negotiations on fair compensations to the Nazi victims, including with Austria. These talks were intense, constructive and fruitful. I wish to thank all our partners at the negotiation table and to express a special gratitude to Madam Schaumeier. Throughout the talks we always remembered of those who have been awaiting our results. And we have reached a reasonable compromise.

Naturally, the payments that will go to the Nazi victims can not fully make up for the inflicted suffering, physical and moral damage to the people. To many of them this relief will come too late. However, we have accomplished a great and noble mission. There could be no winners or losers. It is a victory of common sense, social justice and humanism, and a triumph of historic truth.

History is the best teacher, but this teacher takes the highest toll for its lessons. Because one who forgets the lessons of history is doomed to repeat one's mistakes.

Let us all remember this and contribute every our effort, so that the gloomy times of the Holocaust and genocide would never come back.

Thank you for your attention.

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 - Judge’s 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 - Остання інформація стосовно проблеми вирішення колективного позову, заявленого колишніми примусовими працівниками (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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