The compensation payments come in advance of those to be made by German industry to indemnify Nazism´s forced laborers. Last week, industry dropped its last objections to the $4.6 billion government-industry fund. Parliament is still finalizing the legal technicalities.
Last year the Church acknowledged that the Nazi regime forced some people to work in its institutions, including hospitals and schools, for no pay. The Church created its own fund of some $5 million for the indemnification.
Half of the money will go to pay former forced laborers; the remainder will be allocated to charitable works in the victims´ countries of origin.
The German bishops´ conference estimated that one in every 1,000 of Nazism´s 8 million forced laborers was sent to Catholic Church institutions.