NYDFS Holocaust Claims Processing Office Receives Anne Frank Award

June 16, 2016

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced that its Holocaust Claims Processing Office is the recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Citizens Award from the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York.

Established in 1997, the NYDFS Holocaust Claims Processing Office provides institutional assistance to individuals seeking to recover assets — bank accounts, insurance policies, and works of art — lost due to Nazi persecution between 1933 and 1945. In fulfilling this mission, the office has facilitated the restitution of over $157 million in bank accounts, insurance policies, and other material losses and the resolution of cases involving more than 56 works of art.

NYDFS said its Holocaust Claims Processing Office is the only government entity in the world that aids Holocaust victims and their heirs free of charge with a variety of multinational compensation processes.

The skill set of the six-member team is as varied as the claims they pursue. Anna B. Rubin, director, and Connie Walsh, deputy director, are both attorneys by trade focused on international law and human rights. Rebecca Friedman, Inna Kushnirsky and Anna Rathkopf are claims specialists. Friedman is an attorney with an MA in art history. Kushnirsky has an MS in mathematics with extensive experience in information technology. Rathkopf has an MA in theology and Jewish studies. Eleonora Vyadro, claims assistant, has a BA in engineering and French.

The Spirit of Anne Frank Awards honors students, educators and citizens whose humanitarian efforts fight discrimination and inspire inclusion.

“I congratulate the hard working, talented and dedicated members of the DFS Holocaust Claims Processing Office,” said NYDFS Superintendent Maria Vullo. “DFS is committed to continuing the inspiring legacy of Anne Frank by assisting Holocaust victims and their heirs with asset restitution through DFS’s successful fair resolution policy.”

“This year’s recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Outstanding Citizens Award, the DFS Holocaust Claims Processing Office, works tirelessly to correct the injustices of the past,” said Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.

“By advocating on behalf of Holocaust survivors and their loved ones in seeking the just return of assets stolen by the Nazis, they have aided in the recovery of priceless works of art, and helped restore our faith in humanity,” Goldstein said.

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