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das untenstehende Forderungsschreiben nach Veröffentlichung der historsichen Expertise wurde heute dem Stiftungsratsvorsitzenden und dem Stiftungsvorstand  übersandt:

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                                                                                                                                                       Der Vereinsrat und Vorsitzender

                                                                                                                                                       (gem. Beschluss vom 02.07. 2024)


An die Conterganstiftung 

Stiftungsratsvorsitzender und Stiftungsvorstand

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren!

Nachdem nun endlich die Expertise zur historischen Aufarbeitung der Conterganstiftung, einschließlich der Behandlung des Conterganskandals, jahrelang im Abnahmeverfahren aufgehalten wurde und Änderungen unterzogen wurde, ist nun endlich die finale Abnahme erfolgt.

Trotzdem stockt es weiter in der Veröffentlichung. Das kann nicht weiter hingenommen werden. Die Conterganbetroffenen haben ein Recht darauf, die 200.000 Euro kostende Studie über ihre Stiftung, die eigentlich schon im Jahr 2022 veröffentlicht werden sollte, endlich lesen zu dürfen.

Wir fordern daher die umgehende Einstellung der Expertise auf der Seite der Conterganstiftung.


Wir bedanken uns für Ihre Mühe und verbleiben mit freundlichen Grüßen




Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Contergannetzwerk Deutschland e.V.

Für den Vereinsrat - Martina Geburzi

We at Contergannetzwerk Deutschland have always believed it is important to protect the interests of both Germans and victims from other countries and to keep them informed.


We are proposing Christian Stürmer to act as the victims' representative on the Board of Trustees of Conterganstiftung:


Christian Stürmer is 62 years old and has himself been severely affected by thalidomide. He is the chairperson of Contergannetzwerkes Deutschland e.V. as well as a full member of the Board of Trustees and the Expert Commission of Conterganstiftung (victims' representative).


In recent years, Christian Stürmer has been very active in our cause for victims of thalidomide – with proven results – and most importantly in securing the large pension increase and the flat-rate payments for specific needs.


However, he feels it is particularly important that non-German victims receive the same rights as German victims. This is because they are all victims of the same drug!  For example, when Conterganstiftung disputed the payments for Brazilian victims, the victims turned to Christian Stürmer for help, who immediately arranged for a lawyer to assist them. This resulted in a law being passed which stipulates that claims once recognised by Conterganstiftung receive special protection and can only be revoked in cases of fraud. All victims around the world have this right!

Christian Stürmer helps wherever he can, so it is important that he continues his work for thalidomide victims and that he receives as many votes as possible.


Christian Stürmer studied law and continues to be very attached to this field of study to this day. This is why he is heavily involved in legal issues relating to thalidomide.


For example, he co-wrote the new study on thalidomide at the University of Heidelberg (which is up for approval this year). This study also looks at

the thalidomide scandal and thus the thalidomide victims' historical legal situation, in addition to which rights arise from this today.


The legal scholar Professor Stefan Geibel from the University of Heidelberg, who was also involved in the study (see also the video on our homepage www.contergannetzwerk.de), and Christian Stürmer both argue that a correct assessment of the thalidomide scandal gives rise to more rights for the victims than is often stated. On the one hand, this is important in order to prevent payments from being taken away from us once again. On the other hand, this also allows us to demonstrate good grounds for our outstanding claims.3

We are pleased that significant demands made by Christian Stürmer in the period from 2008–2016 have also been accepted by other associations and victims' representatives:


An example is the surviving dependants' pension for relatives of those affected[1] by thalidomide. The people who have supported the victims for such a long time should be cared for by the German state or Conterganstiftung in the event of the victims' deaths (surviving dependants' pension).


As a further example, it must be noted (particularly relevant for our victims with severe disabilities) that social services should be prohibited from reclaiming care assistance from relatives of deceased, severely injured thalidomide victims (hardship clause regarding Section 102 Code of Social Law (SBG) XII).[2]


Christian Stürmer is particularly committed to hearing-impaired thalidomide victims: at the most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees on 8 May 2024, he once again called for sign language interpreters to be appointed at Conterganstiftung.


Christian Stürmer also wants to achieve better medical care for the victims. Good healthcare must be ensured WORLDWIDE; in other words, in all countries where thalidomide victims live.


The knowledge and skills of the competence centres must be made available to all victims WORLDWIDE, for which the German state is responsible. Pension payments alone are not enough! After all, the responsibility assumed by the German state also encompasses making sure that victims have good health care. And, as stated above, this responsibility also includes providing care to those who have supported the victims for such a long time in the event of the victims' deaths (surviving dependants' pension).


It is Christian Stürmer's heartfelt desire to have thalidomide victims more involved in the foundation, regardless of disability or country! The history surrounding thalidomide also demands this – see Professor Geibel's video on our homepage www.contergannetzwerk.de.

We have the right to be treated "as equals" – according to the principle of "nothing happens to us without us!"


Thalidomide victims not being allowed to elect their own representative(s) on the foundation's Board of Trustees and this person simply being determined by the ministry is therefore unacceptable.

The federal ministries also hold three out of the five seats on the foundation's Board of Trustees, while victims only hold two. This cannot continue!



Both improvements in the foundation's structure and surviving dependants' pensions are currently under parliamentary deliberation in the German Bundestag. We are certain that something positive can be achieved for the victims in both areas.


Christian Stürmer was in the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth due to surviving dependants' pensions in 2020. Christian Stürmer presented our special catalogue of[3] requirements here. The ministry subsequently commissioned an expert opinion on the surviving dependants' pension. This year, two hearings in the German legislature were held – one on the structural reform of Conterganstiftung and another on surviving dependants' pensions. Christian Stürmer also participated in both hearings. MPs are now discussing the results. We are convinced that we can expect positive legislative proposals in the near future.


How are we approaching Grünenthal? 

We, and in particular Conterganstiftung, need to make every effort to exert influence on Grünenthal to ensure, following the English model, that it also contributes to payments for victims. We have still not received adequate compensation!! Grünenthal should foot the bill for this! While they will almost certainly never do this voluntarily, if the foundation pushes the government and we all stand together, we may be able to achieve something.

We ask all thalidomide victims for their support to ensure Christian Stürmer can continue his work.


Christian Stürmer's most important goals

1.) ensuring thalidomide-specific payments;

2.) surviving dependants' pensions for relatives of deceased thalidomide victims;

3.) regarding payments for specific needs:

a) significant increase,

b) dynamisation, i.e., annual increases to pensions for example, and

c) capitalisation option;

4.) improvement of procedures (such as applications for revision) and no assertion of costs against the foundation in court proceedings;

5.) payments per claim point (not graduated);

6.) more points for those with severe limb damage;

7.) classification of severely hearing-impaired individuals to 100 claim points;

8.) removal of the formula for calculating claims points;

9.) increase of the capitalisation option for thalidomide pensions from 5 to 10 years;

10.) Ausschluss der Kostenerstattung durch die Sozialämter nach dem Tod Contergan-Überlebender (§ 102 SGB XII);

11.) gute medizinische Versorgung aller Contergan-Opfer – weltweit;

12.) Umbau der Kompetenzzentrumsstrukturen – zur Vernetzung und Erhöhung der Bedarfsnähe (zB bei der Herstellung spezifischer Hilfsmittel); bestmögliche Nutzung des spezifischen Wissens weltweit;

13.) Kuratorium: Erhöhung der Zahl der Opfervertreter (mindestens Parität), Kompetenzausweitung (mit Ausnahme contergangezieller Dienste) und Live-Übertragungen der Sitzungen;

14.) ein von den Opfern gewählter Opfervertreter im Verwaltungsrat;

15.) ausreichende Beteiligung ausländischer Opfer;

16.) bessere Integration hörgeschädigter Menschen und Einstellung von Gebärdendolmetschern in der Stiftung;

17.) ein Beirat für Vorstand und Kuratorium, in dem alle Verbände und alle Formen von Contergangeschädigten und -opfern, auch außerhalb Deutschlands, vertreten sind;

18.) Medizinische Kommission: mehr Transparenz, Berufung durch das Kuratorium, Nutzung des Wissens von Experten;

19.) angemessener Schadensersatz durch Grünenthal .


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Wir möchten allen Unterstützern von Christian Stürmer herzlich danken. Je mehr es sind, desto größer ist seine Wirkung!


Wir unterstützen Sie –


Contergannetzwerk Deutschland e.V.

Der Assoziationsrat

Registered office: 73760 Ostfildern, Weiherhagstr. 6,

Homepage: www.contergannetzwerk.de

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