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Switzerland pays out SFr1 million to Holocaust victims

The Swiss government says it has concluded a round of payments totalling SFr1 million ($674,000) to 90 victims of the Holocaust or their heirs.

The payments were made as part of a special programme to find the owners of unclaimed assets from the Second World War.

The programme - not connected with the much-larger SFr1.85 billion ($1.25 billion) settlement between Swiss banks and victims of the Nazi regime - was targeted mainly at East Europeans who were unable to claim assets when they were living under communist rule.

The programme resulted from a 1962 bid to find Holocaust assets. At the time, Swiss financial institutions were required to hand over to the government deposits unclaimed since the end of the war.

The Swiss did not seek out many of the smaller account holders because, in part, they said they feared that those living under communist rule in Eastern Europe might face retribution.

The government announced on Wednesday that the programme had now ended.

swissinfo with agencies

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