German Insurers Handed Holocaust Deadline

August 2, 2000

Hevesi has given two German reinsurers an Aug. 21 deadline to explain how they will ensure the fair handling of Holocaust claims if they refuse to join an international restitution panel, according to a Reuters news service report.

Hevesi’s July 20 letter to Munich Re UK and Gerling-Konzern was reportedly provided to Reuters by the World Jewish Congress, which is pressing Europe’s companies to accept responsibility for aiding and profiting from Nazi war crimes.

“We strongly believe that in order for restitution of unpaid policies held by German insurers to be complete, accessible to claimants and transparent, it is essential that the insurance companies of Germany fully participate in the restitution efforts and work of the International Commission on Holocaust-era Insurance Claims,” the letter said.

Hevesi’s group helped convince Swiss banks two years ago to agree to a $1.3 billion accord with Holocaust survivors. Munich Re has resisted demands to also join the restitution panel, saying that, as a reinsurer, it never sold policies directly to Holocaust survivors or their heirs.

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