Czech survivors want compensation from Germany

PRAGUE — A group of Czech Holocaust survivors has sent a letter to the German government denouncing its refusal to provide individual compensation to survivors in the Czech Republic.

In a Nov. 12 letter, the Petitions Committee of Czech Holocaust Victims called on German legislators to fulfill their "international, legal and moral commitments toward the remaining" Czech survivors or risk sullying Germany's reputation.

The letter is part of a campaign by Czech survivors to have Germany go beyond a commitment it made in a German-Czech declaration that was signed in January.

The declaration called for the establishment of a fund to finance community projects for Czech survivors, but did not call for individual compensation.

Germany will provide the fund with about $76 million, and the Czech government will contribute about $12.9 million.

The declaration, negotiated for two years, was intended to ease long-standing tensions rooted in Germany's wartime occupation of Czech lands and the subsequent deportation of Sudeten Germans from postwar Czechoslovakia.

There are about 6,500 Holocaust survivors in the Czech Republic.