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Swiss Holocaust fund approves final payments to victims

Images from Art Spiegelman's "Maus" books, which revealed the horrors of the Holocaust


The Swiss Holocaust memorial fund, set up to aid needy victims of the Nazis, has approved the last applications for payments. The final awards will boost its overall payout to SFr295 million ($172 million).

The SFr 3.39 million ($1.97 million) award to 4,671 Holocaust survivors brings to and end the processing of claims to the fund.

In a statement, the fund's executive board said the money contributed by Swiss companies, commercial banks and the central bank had been awarded so far to some 307,000 people.

The latest allocations will bring the total, by next year, to 316,000 "persons who suffered the unimaginable during the Holocaust and are needy today".

The memorial fund was launched in 1997, as Switzerland faced mounting criticism that it had profited from the Second World War.

The Swiss National Bank, which has admitted buying tonnes of gold from Nazi Germany, also contributed to the fund, as did private businesses.

The fund is separate from the $1.25 billion that Switzerland's largest banks, UBS and Credit Suisse, paid to settle United States class-action lawsuits that alleged that they had profited from the wealth of Holocaust victims.

swissinfo with agencies

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