Press Release 11/2003
Brussels, June 26, 2003
Germany will not pay voluntarily.
Thus, put the bailiff's seal on the Goethe-Institute!
Statement by Ilka Schröder, independent Member of the European Parliament, regarding the claims for compensation of surviving dependants of the massacre in the Greek village of Distomo against Germany, which were dismissed today in the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof):
The Supreme Court decision is an outrageous insult of the surviving dependants of the victims. It fits into the appeasement policy by which the Federal Republic has treated the claims of other victims of National Socialism.
Due to the German denial of responsibility, the only remaining way for compensation of the victims is the seizure of the Goethe-Institute. Since the Greek Supreme Court has already decided to kow-tow to the Germans, the surviving dependants will have to fight for the achievement of their legitimate claims themselves.
A certain logic can be discovered in comparing the German position with the prattle of "special responsibility" and "lessons from the German past" with which the Federal Republic has backed up their aggression against Yugoslavia as well as their newly discovered National-Pacifism during the Iraq war: Wherever it is helpful to German interests, the Third Reich is readily used as an argument. On the contrary, wherever the memory of the last German programme to achieve superpower status appears to cost money, the purse remains closed. This is particularly true as long as it concerns claims in favour of victims of past German policy and not old SS veterans.
In fighting off the claims of the Distomo victims, the Federal Republic has taken cover behind the principle of state immunity. In doing so, Germany is making clear legally and politically that the victims of the last German attempt to attain superpower status are an irrelevancy and a little nuisance.
Sixty years ago, in the Greek mountain village of Distomo, German troops have committed a massacre that figures among the most brutal ones during the Second World War. This massacre was part of the methods to secure German power in order to continue the plundering of Europe.
The Nazi war loot formed the basis of the German "economic miracle". Up to now, the Federal Republic - which is nothing else than the legal continuation of the Third Reich according to a Supreme Court ruling - has not paid one Pfennig of compensation to the victims and surviving dependants of Distomo.
Greece's vassalage to the most recent German attempts to attain superpower status with European help has not paid off for the Greek victims of National Socialism. Instead of seizing the Goethe-Institute, the Greek government has turned itself into the long arm of a German regime to fence off claims for compensation.