German Archives Could Help Holocaust Victims’ Families

May 24, 2000

Houston-based Risk International and The Simon Wiesenthal Center have accessed German archives containing thousands of registries of seized Jewish assets. The discovery could help Holocaust survivors and their heirs recover the assets, which were stolen by the Third Reich.

The companies have found some 100,000 files containing documentation of assets stolen by the Nazis. Two categories of documents were found: those showing the complicity between the Nazis and the Holocaust-era insurance industry and those listing the assets of specific Jewish families.

The first category includes a transcript from a 1938 meeting between insurance company executives and Nazi officials in which it was agreed that the Nazis would receive the benefits of any claims filed by German Jews. It was agreed that claims filed by non-German Jews, however, were to be paid to the rightful beneficiaries in order preserve the international reputation of Germany’s insurance industry.

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