Navigation

New list of Holocaust-era accounts published

The first list of dormant Holocaust-era accounts was published in 1997 Keystone

Swiss banks on Thursday published a new list of 3,100 names of Nazi-era bank account holders who were probably Holocaust victims.

This content was published on January 13, 2005 - 10:01

The publication in New York comes after months of negotiations, and forms part of a $1.25 billion (SFr1.64 billion) settlement reached between Swiss banks and Holocaust survivors in 1998.

An earlier list of 21,000 names of Swiss account holders considered likely to have died in the Holocaust was published in 2001.

Lawyers for survivors described the banks’ decision to issue a new list as a breakthrough, and a chance for victims’ families to recover money that had been inaccessible for 50 years.

“This is an important step toward completing the claims process,” chief lawyer Burt Neuborne told the New York Times.

“We believe many of the 3,100 accounts were owned by Holocaust victims.”

People who identify family members on the new list will have six months to make their claim.

Negotiations

The list is the result of months of negotiations between the banks, Swiss officials and Neuborne, according to the Times.

It was drawn up from the records of millions of dormant Swiss bank accounts opened between 1933 and 1945, and has been published on the internet.

Under the terms of the 1998 settlement, the Swiss banks paid $1.25 billion to settle all claims from Holocaust survivors and others who argued that they had suffered as a result of Swiss institutions’ cooperation with Nazi Germany.

Of the total, $800 million was earmarked for dormant account holders and their heirs. Over 2,800 payouts worth at least $217 million have so far been made to those who could prove that they or their relatives had Swiss bank deposits during the period in question.

The balance should go to other claimants, including refugees turned away from Switzerland during the war and forced labourers.

In April 2004, a New York court began deliberations on how the remainder of the global settlement fund should be distributed.

At the opening of that hearing, presiding judge Edward Korman criticised the Claims Resolution Tribunal for the slow pace of its work. He also said a “massive destruction of documents” had taken place at Swiss banks which had made it harder to investigate the origins of some accounts.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Swiss banks published a list of 21,000 names of dormant account holders in 2001.
The new list includes a further 3,100 names.
It can be found on the internet on two web sites: www.crt-ii.org and www.swissbankclaims.com.
It follows the Swiss banks' 1998 $1.25-billion settlement with Holocaust survivors.

End of insertion

In brief

The new list comes after months of negotiations between the big Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse, the Federal Banking Commission, the Swiss justice ministry and US lawyer Burt Neuborne.

Claimants have until July 13 to come forward.

End of insertion

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?