Italian top court opens way for Distomo compensation

Italian top court opens way for Distomo compensation

Italy’s Supreme Court this week recognized the right of the Greek victims of a Nazi atrocity to confiscate German property in another European country as compensation.

Based on the ruling, the 296 plaintiffs – survivors and relatives of the victims of the WWII massacre in the village of Distomo in central Greece – are claiming at least 25 million euros, an amount that could be paid out of the revenues of an Italian rail cargo company which is majority owned by German railway operator Deutsche Bahn.

Dr Joachim Lau, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told Kathimerini that the main question of whether “we could seize German acquisitions on Italian territory has been answered.”

The victims have been awarded compensation in Greek courts but justice ministers have refused to sign off on the required confiscation order.

On June 10, 1944, a German SS infantry division slaughtered over 200 villagers, most of whom were women, children and elderly residents of Distomo.

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