$275 Million Holocaust Settlement Nears

After a number of preliminary agreements, and some protracted delays, German representatives and The International Commission of Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) were reportedly near an agreement that would provide $275 million to World War II survivors of the Nazi-era and their families.

ICHEIC head, former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, indicated that the agreement was “a major step” in finally settling some 8,744 German claims and another 18,200 from Eastern Europe from policyholders and their descendants, who held policies issued in the 1930’s and 40’s that have never been paid.

Part of the settlement provides that the German “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation,” the organization established by German insurers and the government to handle Holocaust claims, will provide as complete a list as possible of these unpaid policies. This will facilitate the task of survivors and their families in identifying and validating their claims.

The agreement provides that the German Foundation will make available to the ICHEIC around $100 million to pay claims and related expenses. It will also establish an additional fund of $175 million “for humanitarian purposes,” which can be used to assist survivors as ICHEIC finds suitable.

So far very few claims have actually been settled, but the parties hope to begin paying out some funds immediately and to fully implement the agreement by the end of 2004.