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Germany Plans To Compensate Former Soviet POWs

Politicians say Germany plans to compensate former Soviet prisoners of war for their suffering during World War II.

Lawmaker Hans-Ulrich Krueger said on May 20 that the German parliamentary budget committee approved a total 10 million euros in funding "for symbolic financial recognition" of ex-Soviet soldiers held prisoner by the Nazis.

It is unclear how many possible claimants there could be, 70 years after the end of the war.

Krueger, who is deputy spokesman on budget matters for the Social Democrats' parliamentary group, said that around 5.3 million Soviet soldiers were held by German forces between 1941 and 1945, more than half of whom died.

He said they were the second biggest group of Nazi victims after Jews.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also a member of the center-left Social Democrats, welcomed the move, calling it "a good initiative" from the German parliament.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters