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Amsterdam to repay Jews for WWII-era taxes, fines

Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam
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Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam

Amsterdam says it will pay compensation to Jewish residents who fled or were forced from their homes during World War II — and returned to find overdue taxes and late payment fines waiting for them.

The city council says in Thursday's statement it will repay survivors or their families 820,000 euros ($1.1 million). It plans a wider investigation into unfair postwar charges.

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Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said: "With the eyes of today, but also with the eyes of then, the city levying fines on war victims was formalistic and inappropriate."

A student, Charlotte van den Berg, found documentary evidence of the abusive practices in 2011 in city archives. Letters from Holocaust survivors complained that the city was charging them for property seized after their deportation to Nazi concentration camps.

—AP