On 4 June 2008, the Italian Supreme Court published its decision in the case Distomo: Greek Nazi victims may enforce compensation claims against Germany in Italy. This judgment of the Supreme Court of Italy is groundbreaking!
Background: On 10 June 1944, a German SS unit raided the village of Distomo near Delphi during the German occupation of Greece and killed 218 residents, including many children, women and old people. The survivors and the relatives of the victims have never received any compensation from the Federal Republic.
The deceased lawyer Ioannis Stamoulis, who had successfully fought for a compensation of about 28 million euros for the victims before the Greek courts. The Areopagus, the Supreme Court of Greece, confirmed the judgment in 2000. Despite the final decision, the Federal Republic has not paid a cent until today. Upon intervention by the German side, the Greek government even stopped the garnichment of German property in Greece.
Therefore, the plaintiff applied for declaring the Greek judgment enforceable in Italy at Italian courts. At the lower courts they got their right. Thereupon the lawyer Joachim Lau from Florence impounded German properties in Como/Italy (“Villa Vigoni”) in 2007. The German government appealed.
Now today the called-on Court of Cassation in Rome decided that the Greek plaintiffs from Distomo in Italy may take enforcement measures against German property. According to the Court of Cassation, the German State enjoys no immunity in such a trial because the basis of the dispute was a war crime, and because such judgments from other EU countries must find recognition.
Finally this decision cleared the way to help the people of Distomo to get a fair compensation. If Germany continues to refuse payment, the seized German property in Italy would have to be auctioned.
In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that the deported Italian soldiers (usually referred to as Italian military internees, short IMI) must be compensated for Nazi forced labor by the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany had excluded them from payments from the Fund “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future”.
Press release of the Working Group Distomo, Hamburg, 4 June 2008
(Translation Current Concerns)
The Executive Board of the bar association of Thessaloniki (DSTH) claims German war reparations in a resolution approved unanimously at the meeting of the corporation a few days ago. The resolution was passed on to the public.
In the resolution, the bar association of Thessaloniki requires the German Government, “to fulfill its commitments to Greece, which comprise German reparations of every kind springing from the actions of the Third Reich in Greece during the Second World War.” It is emphasized that namely for Thessaloniki repayment of the money paid by the Jewish community of this city to ransom their members from forced labor in various industries and areas of Macedonia is to be added.
In addition, the same resolution emphasises Germany’s obligation to return the archaeological treasures which were looted during the German occupation. “The German Government, which so often refers to the idea of a united Europe and to the obligations of its members, now has itself to meet its obligations to the States of the EU, especially when they result from the actions of the Third Reich during the Second World War.”
the truth commited from 23 June 2012 , Original source: Newsbeast.gr
In the Paris Reparations Agreement of 1946 the German war crimes against Greece were billed at 7.1 billion US dollars. A few years later, under the threat of the oncoming Cold War, Germany was already needed by the Allies in the struggle against communism. For this reason, it was agreed in the London Agreement of 1953 that the recognised reparation demands against Germany should be postponed – until a final settlement in a later peace treaty. Greece, which was not among the victorious powers, had no say in this.
However, the Federal Republic of Germany made so-called global agreements with the West European countries in the 1960s, with which lump-sum compensation payments were made. A corresponding treaty was concluded with Greece for the sum of 115 million DM – a mere fraction of the actual debts. However, the victims of the armed forces crimes, forced labour or resistance fighters, for example, were explicitly omitted from these payments, and individual claims in the treaty expressly excepted. The Greek government has always maintained that no final settlement was reached with this global agreement – and even officials in the Federal Finance Ministry have conceded in writing that the Greek reparation claims were not fulfilled by this global agreement.
After the German reunification, the time had come to negotiate a final “Peace Treaty”, as mentioned in the 1953 London Agreement. But this was deliberately avoided and a so-called “2+4 Agreement” was concluded, which admittedly settled the renunciation of reparation claims, but only with the four “Great Powers” among the former Allies. Greece and several other countries were given no share in the solution of the agreement. They were unable therefore to make claims – or even to renounce them. •
Source: A Song for Argyris, Appendix B, Fontana Film http://www.fontanafilm.ch/DOKFILME/argyris/pdf/Argyris_Appendix_B.pdf
From the time of their arrival in Greece in 1941, the Italian and German occupying forces took possession of all the available food resources, thereby creating great difficulties. The ICRC entered into negotiations with the occupying powers, and with the United Kingdom and Turkey, in order to organize relief work in Greece. From October 1941 to August 1942, the ICRC managed to bring 45,000 tonnes of food into the country. But during the terrible winter of 1941–1942, only 7,500 tonnes arrived safely. The famine then grew to terrible proportions - in Athens and several other cities, the rate of mortality was four or five times higher than it had been the previous winter.
The ICRC subsequently obtained authorization from London to deliver 15,000 tonnes of Canadian wheat to Greece every month. With the help of the Swedish government (which supplied the means of transportation) and the Canadian authorities (who provided the goods), ships made 94 trips from Canada to Greece, bringing 17,000 tonnes of food there each month between September 1942 and March 1944. From April to November 1944, the monthly deliveries rose to 29,000 tonnes.
Although Greece was liberated in October 1944, the Dodecanese islands remained under German occupation until 8 May 1945. During this period, the population received no further supplies from outside, and its situation became catastrophic. With the agreement of the belligerents and Turkey, the ICRC undertook to bring relief to the archipelago in small boats which it hired in Izmir. Four operations took place between February and May 1945, and a total of 2,700 tonnes of food, clothing and medicines, supplied by the British government and Greek settlers abroad, were delivered to these islands and distributed among the population. •
Source: CICR Resources from 4 February 2005
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