Fri, Jan. 14, 2005

Nazi Compensation Payouts

CK - Washington.   Compensation for assets lost by Nazi victims entered a new phase yesterday, January 13, 2005, with the announcement by Swiss banks of opening new claims for their CRT-II resolution tribunal:
The Claims Resolution Tribunal is responsible for processing claims relating to assets deposited in Swiss banks by Victims or Targets of Nazi persecution prior to and during the Second World War.
The new compensation pool complements other Swiss action to disgorge assets to victims of the Nazi era who lost what they thought were safe investments in Switzerland, as well as the efforts of German and other insurers to compensate for insurance policies.

In the insurance sector, payouts through the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims sometimes surprise beneficiaries pleasantly. While the program awakens horrible memories, the claims processors appear generous in their adjucation of claims. The analysis of potential claims and the explanation of decisions on such claims seems to be made with great precision. In case of doubt on any factual issue, the decisions favor the beneficiaries.

Some compensation offers from the German ICHEIC fund reach survivors who never expected to hear about policies that they had not been aware of. In the 1950s and 1960s, they may have claimed compensation under the laws that gradually increased the numbers of beneficiaries, the available funds and the types of claims. Based on such old claims, the holocaust claims processors appear to connect insurance policies and records of presumed policies with former claimants and contact them with offers for compensation on policies that may have been held by relatives.

Even in cases where records show that policies may have been paid out, the administrators presume that the Nazi government or other party may have illegally intervened and reaped the policy benefits instead of the insured. Hence, the administrators operate on the assumption that a recorded payout does not reduce the obligation of the compensation fund to compensate the true beneficiary of the policy. See ICHEIC document Relaxed Standards of Proof

The German portion of the ICHEIC is funded through the Remembrance, Responsibility and Future foundation. Processing by the ICHEIC is based on the German Foundation Agreement reached on October 16, 2002 between the RRF foundation, ICHEIC and the German Insurance Association. The ICHEIC releases reports on its work. The most recent statistical report is from January 7, 2005.

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