Nazi victim compensation goes online

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An international claims resolution tribunal has published online a revised list of Swiss bank account owners in a bid to compensate victims of the Nazis before or during World War II.

An international claims resolution tribunal has published online a revised list of Swiss bank account owners in a bid to compensate victims of the Nazis before or during World War II.

The Switzerland-based international team of lawyers representing the Nazi victims' Claims Resolution Tribunal published 13 January a new list of 3100 Swiss bank account owners who may have been persecuted by the Nazis - subsequently losing their savings.

"Individuals who believe that they are owners or heirs of owners of any of these accounts, and these accounts only, may file a claim," the tribunal said.

Those listed have six months from 13 January to make a claim, the tribunal said.

The claims process - part of a Holocaust Victim Assets class action in the US District Court -- first began in 2001. The intent is to give Nazi victims and any heirs a chance to claim for assets deposited in Swiss banks in the period before or during World War II.

In 2000, some 36,000 accounts were identified as being "probably" or "possibly" owned by victims of the Nazis. A list was published in 2001 of some 21,000 of those account owners.

So far, a total of some US$230 million has been awarded to about 2800 claimants who could prove they or their family were owed funds deposited in Swiss banks between 1933 and 1945, when the war ended.

"The 2005 List that follows presents the names of approximately 2700 account owners and 400 Power of Attorney holders that were specified in the Second Memorandum to File and whose publication has now been approved," the tribunal wrote.

The 2400 account holders were not included in the 2001 list of names released. The new list also included names of owners of accounts previously identified in a survey of dormant bank accounts following a 1962 Swiss decree on assets belonging to victims of racial, religious or political persecution, the tribunal said.

Certain Polish and Hungarian account owners with accounts subject to post-war international agreements between Switzerland, Poland, and Hungary were also included.

Some names had been removed, where account owners were believed not to be Nazi victims or if the accounts had already been paid, the tribunal said.

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