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The German word Wiedergutmachung after World War II refers to the reparations that the German government agreed to pay to the direct survivors of the Holocaust, and to those who were made to work as forced labour or who otherwise became victims of the Nazis.

The noun Wiedergutmachung is the general term for "restitution" or "reparation". The noun is made up of wieder ("again"), gut ("good" or "well"), and machung, a verbal noun of machen ("to make"). The verb wiedergutmachen means literally "to make well again" or to compensate. Wiedergutmachungsgeld means "Wiedergutmachung money".

In the former East Germany, the Wiedergutmachung was mostly to Poland and the former USSR.

The German federal office in charge of this issue is BEG (abbreviation for "Bundesentschädigungsgesetz", which translates into English as "Federal Compensation Law") which, in its charter, states:

Individuals who were persecuted for political, racial, religious or ideological reasons by the wartime German regime are eligible for money from the German government under the terms of the Federal Compensation Law (BEG) of 1953 and 1956. This includes Jews who were interned in camps or ghettos, were obliged to wear the star badge, or who lived in hiding.

Only people who were directly victimised are eligible for Wiedergutmachung, and not, for example, offspring born after the war or grandchildren. Statistics concerning Wiedergutmachung payments were released by the BEG through the mid-1980s, but have not since been publicly released. As of the mid-1980s, over four million claims had been filed and paid. Approximately 40% of the claims were from Israel, where many Holocaust survivors live, 20% were from Germany, and 40% were from other countries.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

German

Noun

Wiedergutmachung f. (genitive Wiedergutmachung, plural Wiedergutmachungen)

  1. amends, compensation, reparation

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