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May 2007 Journal

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Central Office for Holocaust Claims

Insurance Commission winds up its work

Having made payments totalling more than US$300 million to settle 48,263 claims, the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) was wound up at the end of March.

Established in December 1998 and financed by European insurance companies, ICHEIC received more than 90,000 claims. The bulk of the money was allotted to just over 14,000 victims (or their heirs) who shared an overall sum of $238 million. A further 2,900 applicants who claimed for policies sold by insurance companies in Central and Eastern Europe that were nationalised or liquidated after the Second World War and for which no present-day successor could be identified shared $30 million.

ICHEIC also distributed $1,000 awards to 31,000 victims ($31million) whose claims were deemed credible but could not be substantiated due to ‘the ravages of war and the passage of time’.

In addition to these awards for unpaid policies, ICHEIC allocated $200 million to finance humanitarian projects benefiting needy survivors and Holocaust-education projects.

The Commission received before the deadline 91,558 claims, two-thirds of which did not name the insurance company with which the policies were supposedly held.

Wertheim settlement: Claims Conference announcement

The Jewish Claims Conference and the German retail group KarstadtQuelle have reached a settlement in their dispute over a property in central Berlin.
KarstadtQuelle agreed to pay €88 million to the heirs of the so-called Lenné-Triangle property which formerly belonged to the Jewish Wertheim family and was seized by the Nazis. According to the Jewish Claims Conference, KarstadtQuelle's payment is one of the highest ever paid as compensation for confiscations carried out by the Nazi regime.
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 mnewman@ajr.org.uk
Michael Newman

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