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Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation

September 16, 1999

Rutherford, New Jersey - An appeal is being issued to Diasporan Ukrainians by the joint litigators in the current class action suit brought against German companies. This suit deals with the matter of forced and slave laborers who were taken from their native lands by Germany during World War II. A questionnaire is being distributed world-wide (see the appeal below) seeking out all who may qualify for benefits from a potential settlement in this case. Information obtained from these questionnaires will be analyzed and presented as statistical evidence.

To offer some historical background, many oppressive policies were implemented during the German occupation of Ukraine. These policies ranged from enslavement to annihilation of the population by the German forces. Army conscription of German soldiers created a massive drain on Germany's labor force. One solution for replenishing the labor supply was to import millions of foreign workers from subjugated lands. From 1941 to 1944, laborers from the "East," countries such as Poland and Ukraine, were systematically transported to work in the factories and farms of Germany and Austria.

Map of German-occupied Ukraine
Map source: Hitler's Occupation of Ukraine [1941-44], Kamenetsky, Ihor. The Marquette University Press (1956)

As an example, in 1942 Hitler personally issued an order demanding the selection of 400,000-500,000 Ukrainian girls and women between the ages of 15 and 35 to work in German households and on farms. Nevertheless, the total number of laborers transported from Ukraine for these and other simlar purposes remains undocumented to this day.

After the War, many Ukrainians who had been taken from their native lands under the above circumstances found themselves in Displaced Persons camps. Some returned to their homeland and have been accounted for by documentation compiled from records in the Former Soviet Union. Others, who went on to live beyond Ukraine's borders, have thus far not been adequately accounted for. This class action suit which is currently underway can only be fully and equitably resolved if all possible data on forced/slave laborers is brought together into a single comprehensive database. The appeal below is an effort to compile the most accurate representative statistics of all Ukrainian-born individuals who were unwillingly transported from their homes to work for Germany.

Readers of the press release below are asked to inform all friends, family members and acquaintances of Ukrainian descent about this broad effort. Information about the lawsuit and the (short) questionnaire may be found at http://www.smorodsky.com/forcedlabor/ or on BRAMA-Gateway Ukraine at http://www.brama.com/. This is a major opportunity to bring redress to this grave and egregious injustice of history. Once settlement is achieved, the terms are such that no further actions of this kind can be instituted.

A. Krill, BRAMA

 

Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor
Class Action Litigation
 
Present status of the German settlement
[ENGLISH] [UKRAINIAN]
· 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
· Mar 28 00 - AGREEMENT REACHED ON ALLOCATION OF THE GERMAN SLAVE-FORCED LABOR SETTLEMENT
· 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 30 99, Press Release - GERMAN FORCED/SLAVE LABOR COMPENSATION NEGOTIATIONS TO CONTINUE IN OCTOBER
· Aug 15 99, Press Release - Ukrainian Forced/Slave Labor Class Action Litigation
· Aug 12 99, Press Release - Reparations Sought by Ukrainian Slave Laborers
 

For Immediate Release
September 16, 1999

ENGLISH

A CALL TO ALL WHO WERE DEPORTED AS FORCED/SLAVE LABORERS DURING THE GERMAN OCCUPATION
(for residents outside of Ukraine only)

UKRAINIAN, CP1251

ЗВЕРНЕННЯ ТА ІНФОРМАЦІЙНЕ ПОВІДОМЛЕННЯ ДЛЯ ОСІБ, ЯКІ ВІДБУВАЛИ ПРИМУСОВІ/РАБСЬКІ РОБОТИ НА КОРИСТЬ НІМЕЧЧИНИ ПІД ЧАС ДРУГОЇ СВІТОВОЇ ВІЙНИ
(тільки для українців, які проживають за межами України)

UKRAINIAN TRANSLITERATED

ZVERNENNYa TA INFORMATsIJ'NE POVIDOMLENNYa DLYa OSIB, YaKI VIDBUVALY PRYMUSOVI/RABS'KI ROBOTY NA KORYST' NIMEChChYNY PID ChAS DRUHOYi SVITOVOYi VIJ'NY
(til'ky dlya ukrayintsiv, yaki prozhyvayut' za mezhamy Ukrayiny)

Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq. of Smorodsky & Stawnychy, together with Pyotr Rabinovich, Esq., and Ukriniurkoleguia of Kyiv, Ukraine, have instituted a class action litigation against German Industry on behalf of Ukrainians who were forcibly deported to Germany as forced/slave laborers. This lawsuit along with other similar cases is presently pending in the United States on behalf of other East European nationalities. At present, settlement negotiations are underway. If successful, these negotiations will set the amount of compensation due to the forced/slave laborers and will simultaneously bar any future lawsuits in this matter. The present date for the continued negotiations is October 4, 1999. If you were forcibly deported by Germany as a forced/slave laborer, and you are not a current resident of Ukraine, please submit your answers to this questionnaire as soon as possible.

In order to be able to present statistically factual information as background for this case, it is necessary to compile data which is currently unavailable in any databanks. The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain basic background information for negotiation purposes only. In particular, we are interested in gauging an estimate of the number of living forced/slave labor survivors other than those presently living in Ukraine. All persons living as of February 16, 1999 who meet the necessary criteria are to be included in this survey.

This is not a solicitation of legal representation nor is it deemed to create any sort of attorney- client relationship. Completing the survey also does not incur any obligations on your part. By filling out this form you will be contributing to the overall information needed for the case and we will be able to keep you directly informed of developments in this matter.

Please fill out the questionnaire to the best of your ability and submit it via the Internet or send it to us by regular mail. Internet submissions are preferred so that the information can be processed instantaneously . We request that all community organizations assist us in this matter, especially by encouraging the electronic submission of information on the website.

CLICK THROUGH TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ISSUE.

Мирослав Смородський, разом з адвокатом Петром Рабіновичем та Укрінюрколешією, Київ, Україна, порушили судову справу проти промислових компаній Німеччини від імені українців, які були вивезені до Німеччини, або до інших країн, на примусові/рабські роботи. Ця справа є подібною до тих, розгляд яких зараз відкладений судами Сполучених Штатів, і які були порушені від імені інщих вихідців зі Східної Європи. Якщо переговори, що зараз ведуться, будуть успішно завершені, то буде визначено розмір компенсацій для українців, які відбували примусові роботи і покладено край порушенню подібних справ у майбутньому. З 4-го жовтня суд розпочинає продовження своєї роботи. Якщо ви були на примусових роботах в Німеччині і якщо ви проживаєте за межами України, то просимо вас якнайшвидше заповнити нижче подану анкету, і відправити її через інтернет, або поштою на вказані адреси,

Ця акція проводиться з метою отримати якомога більше інформації, яку потрібно мати тільки для успішного проведення подальших переговорів і уточнення загальної кількості осіб, які відбували примусові роботи, а на даний час є живими і проживають за межами України. Всі особи, що були живими станом на 16 лютого 1999 року будуть враховані.

Це інформаційне повідомлення не є правовим захистом чи юридичним поданням і не передбачає встановлення правових стосунків з клієнтами. Цим зверненням та інформаційним провідомленням не передбачається прийняття будь-яких зобов'зань. Отримана інформація допоможе адвокатській конторі та адвокатам визначити відносно реальне число кількості українців, які відбували примусові роботи в Німеччині, а в даний час живуть за межами України. Це також допоможе нам тримати вас в курсі вирішення зазначеної справи.

Для сприяння цій роботі просимо вас заповнити подану нижче форму анкети і дати відповідь на запитання якнайдетальніше та відправити заповнену анкету з відповідями на запитання через Інтернет або поштою. Перевага віддається Інтернету, оскільки це прискорює обробку даних. Звертаємось до всіх зацікавлених організацій надати нам допомогу у цій справі, особливо якщо є можливість передачі інформації засобами електронного зв'язку.

Примітка: ранійше подані заяви не мають відношення до цього нового судового позову. Просимо всіх зголоситися заново виповнивши цю анкету.

АНКЕТА І ДАЛЬШІ ІНФОРМАЦІЇ ПРО ЦЮ СПРАВУ.

Myroslav Smorods'kyj', razom z advokatom Petrom Rabinovychem ta Ukrinyurkoleshiyeyu, Kyyiv, Ukrayina, porushyly sudovu spravu proty promyslovykh kompanij' Nimechchyny vid imeni ukrayintsiv, yaki buly vyvezeni do Nimechchyny, abo do inshykh krayin, na prymusovi/rabs'ki roboty. Tsya sprava ye podibnoyu do tykh, rozhlyad yakykh zaraz vidkladenyj' sudamy Spoluchenykh Shtativ, i yaki buly porusheni vid imeni inshykh vykhidtsiv zi Skhidnoyi Yevropy. Yaksho perehovory, sho zaraz vedut'sya, budut' uspishno zaversheni, to bude vyznacheno rozmir kompensatsij' dlya ukrayintsiv, yaki vidbuvaly prymusovi roboty i pokladeno kraj' porushennyu podibnykh sprav u maj'butn'omu. Z 4-ho zhovtnya sud rozpochynaye prodovzhennya svoyeyi roboty. Yaksho vy buly na prymusovykh robotakh v Nimechchyni i yaksho vy prozhyvayete za mezhamy Ukrayiny, to prosymo vas yaknaj'shvydshe zapovnyty nyzhche podanu anketu, i vidpravyty yiyi cherez internet, abo poshtoyu na vkazani adresy,

Tsya aktsiya provodyt'sya z metoyu otrymaty yakomoha bil'she informatsiyi, yaku potribno maty til'ky dlya uspishnoho provedennya podal'shykh perehovoriv i utochnennya zahal'noyi kil'kosti osib, yaki vidbuvaly prymusovi roboty, a na danyj' chas ye zhyvymy i prozhyvayut' za mezhamy Ukrayiny. Vsi osoby, sho buly zhyvymy stanom na 16 lyutoho 1999 roku budut' vrakhovani.

Tse informatsij'ne povidomlennya ne ye pravovym zakhystom chy yurydychnym podannyam i ne peredbachaye vstanovlennya pravovykh stosunkiv z kliyentamy. Tsym zvernennyam ta informatsij'nym providomlennyam ne peredbachayet'sya pryj'nyattya bud'-yakykh zobov'zan'. Otrymana informatsiya dopomozhe advokats'kij' kontori ta advokatam vyznachyty vidnosno real'ne chyslo kil'kosti ukrayintsiv, yaki vidbuvaly prymusovi roboty v Nimechchyni, a v danyj' chas zhyvut' za mezhamy Ukrayiny. Tse takozh dopomozhe nam trymaty vas v kursi vyrishennya zaznachenoyi spravy.

Dlya spryyannya tsij' roboti prosymo vas zapovnyty podanu nyzhche formu ankety i daty vidpovid' na zapytannya yaknaj'detal'nishe ta vidpravyty zapovnenu anketu z vidpovidyamy na zapytannya cherez Internet abo poshtoyu. Perevaha viddayet'sya Internetu, oskil'ky tse pryskoryuye obrobku danykh. Zvertayemos' do vsikh zatsikavlenykh orhanizatsij' nadaty nam dopomohu u tsij' spravi, osoblyvo yaksho ye mozhlyvist' peredachi informatsiyi zasobamy elektronnoho zv'yazku.

Prymitka: ranij'she podani zayavy ne mayut' vidnoshennya do ts'oho novoho sudovoho pozovu. Prosymo vsikh zholosytysya zanovo vypovnyvshy tsyu anketu.

ANKETA I DAL'SHI INFORMATSII PRO TSIU SPRAVU.

 

 


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