Reparations Movement

June 22, 2001 • Volume 11, Issue 24
Should payments be made for historical wrongs?
By David Masci

Introduction

Gordon, an escaped Louisiana slave, bares his scars for the camera in 1863. Reparations advocates argue that the legacy of such mistreatment still affects the African-American community.  (AP Photo/ Illinois State Historical Library)
Gordon, an escaped Louisiana slave, bares his scars for the camera in 1863. Reparations advocates argue that the legacy of such mistreatment still affects the African-American community. (AP Photo/ Illinois State Historical Library)

After the Civil War, efforts to compensate former slaves were blocked. Now calls are getting louder for payments to the ancestors of slaves to help the nation come to terms with a gross historical injustice. But opponents worry that reparations would only widen the divide between the races. Meanwhile, survivors of the Nazi Holocaust have had considerable success in obtaining restitution from governments and corporations linked to Hitler's “final solution.” Seeking reparations is not about money, they say, but about winning justice for the victims. But some Jewish Americans argue that the reparations movement has turned a historical tragedy into a quest for money. Other mistreated groups recently have picked up the call for reparations, including World War II “comfort women” and Australian Aborigines.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World War II Reparations
Jun. 22, 2001  Reparations Movement
Mar. 26, 1999  Holocaust Reparations
Jun. 02, 1945  Labor Reparations
Oct. 19, 1944  War Reparations
Aug. 15, 1931  Revision of the Treaty of Versailles
Nov. 17, 1930  Reparation and War Debt Payments
Nov. 15, 1928  War Debts and Reparations
Sep. 10, 1925  The Disposal of Alien Property
Apr. 08, 1924  Reparations Calendar
Oct. 31, 1923  The New Reparations Situation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Civil Rights: African Americans