The International Commission on Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims is in the process of updating its website – www.icheic.org – to include as many as 379,000 new names of potential claimants, including families and descendants of the beneficiaries of numerous life insurance policies issued over a 25 year period in Europe, which may remain unpaid.
ICHEIC’s announcement said that it has “compiled the following lists of names from several different sources, including but not limited to names received from insurance company members of ICHEIC, the Dutch SJOA Foundation and German insurance companies not belonging to ICHEIC and from various public archives. The names provided by German companies result from a collaborative effort between ICHEIC, the German Foundation ‘Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future’ and the German companies.”
The information from additional sources has resulted in a more definitive list of potential victims of Nazi-era persecution, and a recent decision to extend the deadline from Feb. 15, 2002, to Sept. 30, 2002 for filing Holocaust-era insurance claims, gives potential claimants more time to examine the updated list.
“The names on the published lists are those of people who had or may have had a life insurance policy of any kind (including education, dowry, endowment or pension/annuity policies) during the relevant period (1920-1945) and who are thought likely to have suffered any form of racial, religious or political persecution during the Holocaust,” said the bulletin.
ICHEIC cautioned, however that “the fact that a name appears on the published list is not a guarantee that the individual named or his or her heirs or beneficiaries are entitled to payment. This is for several reasons,” it explained. “For example, investigation and/or research of the claim might reveal that the claim has been settled, that it was paid by the insurer to beneficiaries or to the insured, that loans were taken out against the policy, that the insurance contract did not materialize or lapsed afterwards for reasons unconnected with the Holocaust, or that the claim was compensated or settled through post-war government restitution programs, in particular those of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
The bulletin also indicated, however, that, “because the surviving records are incomplete, these lists are unlikely to include all the names of Holocaust victims who had insurance policies during the relevant period. People should not be discouraged from filing claims simply because their name or the names of family members do not appear on any published lists. Anyone who believes he or she has a valid life, education or dowry policy is encouraged to present the claim to ICHEIC.”
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