Holocaust reparations continue to be paid even though the genocide that murdered more than 7 million, predominantly Jews along with opponents of Adolf Hitler’s (1889-1945) regime and other “non-Aryans” (persons with fair-skin, light hair, and blue eyes), was legal under the democratically elected Third Reich (1933-1945) government. Thus arguments that corporations should not be punished for “legal” acts are baseless. In reality, slavery was as morally repugnant as the Holocaust and “corporations that benefited from staling people, from stealing labor, from forced breeding, from torture, from committing numerous horrendous acts,” in the words of Farmer-Paellmann “should [not] be able to hold onto assets they acquired through such horrendous acts.”
Back in 1999, more than 50 years after the end of the Holocaust, Jewish groups seeking at least $20 billion in new reparations called a $3.3 billion offer made by a German delegation representing the country’s government and corporations “disgusting.” They later agreed on a $5.2 billion “Nazi slave [compensation] fund” that was approved by the German Parliament in 2000. However, while these negotiations were being held, “the World Council of Orthodox Jewish Communities filed a[nother] lawsuit in the U.S. against Deutsche Bank, Germany’s second-largest bank, alleging that it funded and profited from Nazi atrocities.”
Based on these two cases alone, the passage of time and existing “legalities” of the prevailing era, are irrelevant when it comes to redressing inhuman acts like the Holocaust and slavery if justice is to be served. “Slavery harmed slaves and thus, indirectly, their descendants.” Furthermore, as there is no statute of limitations when it comes to the Holocaust, it can also be argued that none should exist when it comes to slavery especially since “African Americans were not allowed access to the courts in any meaningful way – even long after the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery was passed [in December 1865].” Also, consistent with California’s legislation that revised existing statutes of limitations to ensure that “certain Holocaust suits would not be time-barred,” legislation can also provide extensions to African Americans so as not to perpetuate past injustices that were every bit as evil as those committed by the Third Reich.
Therefore, arguments that slavery reparations are illogical and “that tax dollars [and corporate holdings] should not be used for [this] compensation” are equally as “disgusting.” Per Dr. Martin Luther King (1929-1968), the only practical route is for “all citizens [to] engage as full participants in a dialogue examining what is the cost of repairing our society to make it equally accessible to everyone” rather than dismissing and denying the need for past due reparations to the African American community.