Several important developments were reported following a recently concluded two-day meeting in Rome of the International Commission for Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC).
Commission Chairman Lawrence Eagleburger, a former U.S. Secretary of State, announced that ICHEIC had reached agreement with Assicuriazoni Generali providing for payments to Holocaust victims, which could total as much as $100 million.
The precise amount cannot as yet be determined as the Commission is still searching the records of insurance companies, agents and brokers for policies issued between 1920 and 1945 to try and locate the names of victims and their heirs.
Generali has agreed to assist ICHEIC in the search, which already found policies for around 9000 Italians. The Commission promised to assist the insurer in settling several ongoing legal proceedings against it brought by Holocaust survivors and their families.
In another development the Commission announced that it had recovered around 20,000 insurance policies in German archives, and was in hopes of finding more. Despite agreements in principle, several German insurers have refused to join ICHEIC, notably Munich Re.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, who represents the Clinton administration concerning Holocaust reparations, issued a statement endorsing the Generali accord, but was quoted by Reuters News Agency as stating, “I encourage the German Insurance Association to reach agreement with ICHEIC as soon as possible on the processing of all Holocaust era claims against German companies as mandated by the U.S.-German executive agreement that entered into force on Oct.19.”
The Commission plans to add the 20,000 new life and property policies to the 19,000 it already has. All of them will be accessible on the Commission’s website at: http://www.icheic.org.
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