SECOND STAGE OF HOLOCAUST PAYMENTS STARTS

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MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - On October 11, 2004, the Russian Foundation for Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation and Sberbank are beginning the second stage of Holocaust victims' payments.

A Sberbank press release said the payments to the victims of slave and forced labor during World War II were paid out in two stages.

During the first stage from August 2001 to September 2004, the German Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future Foundation transferred 134 million euros for the more than 200,000 former prisoners living in Russia. Sberbank deposited the money for the citizens living outside the Russian Federation into their foreign bank accounts. In all, about 1,500 citizens living in 25 countries received more than 1 million euros.

About 250,000 people received payment from the German foundation and the appropriate amount will be given to them in full.

Payments to the descendants of the victims of forced labor are being paid during the second stage of payments.

The second stage of payments will be made in four tranches. The first will start in October 2004, the second will begin in December 2004, the third will begin in February 2005, and the fourth will begin in April 2005.

About 17,000 people - prisoners in concentration camp, ghettoes and other places of forced detention similar to concentration camps - will receive payments in the October tranche. The first tranche will be more than 28 million euros, the largest transfer by the German foundation to Russia.

Payments will made in 77 Russian regions from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok in more than 7,000 Sberbank branches.

The size of the payments, when the payments will be made, and the address of the Sberbank branch are indicated on the notices sent to each recipient by the Mutual Understanding and Reconciliation Foundation.

It is planned that the payments will be completed by the 60th anniversary of victory in World War II in May 2005. The legally qualified descendants of Holocaust victims have the right to receive the payments until September 30, 2006.

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