Less Than Slaves: Jewish Forced Labor and the Quest for Compensation

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Indiana University Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 249 pages
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As a United States war crimes investigator during World War II, Benhamin B. Ferencz participated in the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. He returned to Germany after the war to help bring perpetrators of war crimes to justice and remained to direct restitution programs for Nazi victims. In Less Than Slaves, Ferencz describes the painstaking efforts that were made to persuade German industrial firms such as I. G. Farben, Krupp, AEG, Rheinmetall, and Daimler-Benz to compensate camp inmates who were exploited as forced laborers. The meager outcome of these efforts emerges from searing pages that detail the difficulties confronted by Ferencz and his dedicated colleagues. This engrossing narrative is a vital resource for all who are concerned with the moral, legal, and practical implications of the recent significant increase in the number of compensation claims by victims of persecution. First published in 1979, Ferencz's penetrating firsthand account returns to print with the author's evaluation of its historical significance and current relevance.

 

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Contents

The Final SolutionA Brief Reminder
1
The Diabolical Design 1933May 1939
2
Conquest as a Prelude to Annihilation August 1939July 1940
5
Auschwitz and Einsatzgruppen July 1940February 1942
9
The German Defeat and Nuremberg
30
Auschwitz Survivors v IG Farben
33
IG Farben on Trial
34
Jewish Organizations Enter the Fray
37
Siemens Pays
117
Finding the Survivors
122
The Cannons of Rheinmetall
129
Hanging On in the Courts
130
Help from an Unexpected Quarter
133
The Power of the Press
137
A Most Unusual Deal
144
Dividing the Fund
149

Bargaining about Auschwitz
41
Farben Settles
48
Verifying the Claims
52
Farben Demands a Refund
58
A Hardship Fund for the Destitute
61
Memorializing Those Who Perished
64
Accounting with Krupp
69
Krupps Rise and Fall and Restoration
70
Former Slaves Demand a Payment
76
The Chips Are Down
81
A Deal Is Made
85
The Truth about Krupps Camps
88
Dividing a Meager Loaf
96
The Electrical Companies See the Light
105
Keeping the Claims Afloat
106
Slaves Consigned Only on Demand
109
The Secret Settlement with AEG and Telefunken
113
The Shark Who Got Away
155
Frederick the Great
156
The Agreement That Never Was
159
Dangling in the Wind
162
To the Bitter End
165
A Medley of Disappointments
171
A Pyrrhic Victory
172
The Courageous Dr Kuril and the Aircraft Companies
174
Brown Coal and Gasoline
177
Construction Companies as Slavemasters
179
A Global Approach Fails
181
The Last Word
185
Hate Is Never the Last Word
186
APPENDIXES
195
Notes
213
Index
243
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About the author (2002)

Benjamin B. Ferencz was the prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial of the SS Einsatzgruppen. Now in his eighties, Ferencz remains active as a teacher, lecturer, and author of books on international law and articles dealing with the creation of an international criminal court.

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