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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
French pay-out to wartime orphans
President Chirac visits Oradour massacre memorial in 1999
The Oradour massacre was France's worst single atrocity
The French Government has agreed to compensate thousands of people whose parents were victims of Nazi atrocities.

Up to 8,000 children of people deported or killed during the German occupation are expected to qualify.

They will receive 27,440 euros, similar to a package paid three years ago to orphans of Jewish parents deported from France during the Holocaust.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said on Saturday that the package was being extended "in the interests of justice and fairness".

Those who might benefit include children of resistance fighters or civilians massacred by the Nazis, whether Jewish or non-Jewish.

"If you had, for example, a Jewish person or a resistance figure who was deported for throwing a grenade at the Nazis, any orphan they left behind would not have been compensated under the previous accord," Defence Ministry spokesman Pierre Mayaudon told Reuters.

The package will be finalised over the next few months after an eligibility study.

Vichy blamed

The children of people killed in bombings or in the general course of the war will not be included on the list.

Families of resistance fighters killed in combat already receive war pensions.

Around 4,500 children of deportees are now expected to be compensated.

The remainder include victims of massacres carried out by the Nazis in revenge for Resistance attacks, especially after the 1944 D-Day landings.

The worst of these was at Oradour-sur-Glane, in west-central France, where 642 people were killed on 10 June of that year.

France agreed to compensate Holocaust victims after a speech by President Jacques Chirac in 1995 saying that the French people should bear some blame for the deaths of Jews.

He argued then that the wartime collaborationist Vichy regime represented the French state and had repeated the "criminal folly" of the Nazis.




SEE ALSO:
Paris remembers lost Jews
19 Jul 02  |  Europe
Greeks press Nazi damages claim
17 Apr 02  |  Europe
Nazi slave cash bill adopted
26 Jan 00  |  Europe
France counts cost of Nazi era
17 Apr 00  |  Europe


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