The concept of reparations-payments made for damages inflicted by one individual upon another have long been regarded as appropriate social policy. It has only been in the 20th century that the concept has been broadened to deal with evils committed in earlier generations for which payments have been requested, the most discussed of these being the request for reparations for today s blacks for suffering attributable to slavery that ended over one hundred years ago. Other examples include payments by Germany and other European nations for crimes committed in the Second World War. Starting about 1990, there have been frequent apologies for past and present crimes, which acknowledge wrongs committed but without any financial payment. Many nations, churches, and private groups have recently made such apologies, which have seemed to come politically acceptable.
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