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May 2004 Journal

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Central Office for Holocaust Claims

French Commission

Established in 1999, the Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation (CIVS) investigates claims for material and financial assets despoiled by the Vichy regime and its German occupier during the Second World War.

On receipt of an application, CIVS conducts free archival research to determine the extent of the plundered wealth. There is no deadline to apply and CIVS welcomes applications.

As well as apartments, furniture and household possessions, the Commission also pays compensation for dormant French bank accounts from two funds. Bank Fund A has been endowed with $50 million and makes awards in respect of accounts found in archival research. Fund B, with $22.5 million, pays standard $3,000 awards for accounts that were active prior to 1941 but where such evidence cannot be found. The deadline for Fund B claims expired in January 2003.

Together with 150 new applications per month, CIVS has received to date more than 20,000 applications and has made offers on 10,000 cases. The average offer is €25,500 but it can take up to two years to process an application and for an offer to be made.

The Commission can be reached at 1 Rue de la Manutention, 7116 Paris, France. The telephone number is 0033 1 56 52 85 00 and their website can be viewed at www.civs.gouv.fr

Further help

Written enquiries should be sent to Central Office for Holocaust Claims (UK), Jubilee House, Merrion Avenue, Stanmore, Middx HA7 4RL, by fax to 020 8385 3075, or by email to michael@ajr.org.uk. Assistance can be provided strictly by appointment at the Holocaust Survivors Centre in Hendon, north London. For an appointment, please ring 020 8385 3074.
Michael Newman

previous article:Letter from Israel