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© The Boston Globe 2001.  Used by permission.
The Secret History of World War II

by Mark Fritz / Globe Staff / November 19, 2001

Page 10 of 11

Continued from page 9

The Eagleburger commission has focused largely on exacting compensation from big European companies that kept the premiums of Holocaust victims. But Neal Sher, the commission's chief of staff, expressed surprise when asked about the declassified documents that linked Allied and Axis insurance concerns.

''If there is any evidence that there were American companies writing policies on people who were victims of the Holocaust, we're interested,'' Sher said.

A private insurance investigation law firm that specializes in treating old insurance records as archeological digs also was unaware of the unit's information.

''That certainly raises my curiosity. The thing I am most interested in right now is the liability of US corporations,'' said Terrell Hunt, president of Risk International Services, Inc., a Houston-based insurance investigation firm voluntarily assisting state insurance commissioners in reparations cases. ''It would take a fair amount of research, but I can't believe there isn't something wrong about [Axis and Allied executives] sharing board seats.'' back in 1944, OSS agents described the daunting postwar task of untangling what one termed the Third Reich's vital ''invisible export.'' Not only did the Axis develop a sophisticated ''set of economic tools'' to move money around the world more easily, they covered their tracks enough to make ''the unscrambling of liberated areas more complicated.''

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