On July 17, 2000, the German Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future” agreement was signed in Berlin, after lengthy negotiations in which the Claims Conference was a major party. It is funded in equal parts by the German government and the country’s businesses. More than 6,000 German companies have contributed to the Foundation, including Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, Daimler-Benz, Bayer, Siemens, and Krupp.
The Claims Conference insisted that the agreement establishing the Foundation include a statement of German moral responsibility, which was delivered by President Johannes Rau: “I know that for many it is not really money that matters. What they want is for their suffering to be recognized as suffering and for the injustice done to them to be named injustice. I pay tribute to all those who were subjected to slave labor under German rule and, in the name of the German people, beg forgiveness. We will not forget their suffering.”
Other key elements the Claims Conference achieved include the following: