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Media Reports - 1998
by order of most recent date:

  • BBC News | Americas | US banks named in Holocaust suit
    Two American banks, Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan, are accused of seizing accounts held by Jewish clients during the Nazi occupation of France. The families filed a class-action lawsuit against two leading banks, Chase Manhattan and JP Morgan, alleging that they were complicit in the seizure of wealth stolen from Jews as they were transported to death camps.
    JP Morgan said they would examine the allegations carefully. But lawyers claim that Chase Manhattan's Paris operation was closely allied with the Nazi regime and thrived on its patronage. They also allege that JP Morgan openly boasted of its anti-Jewish record and policies.
    Thursday, 24 December, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • J.P. Morgan (J.P. Morgan Chase & Company) (USA)

  • BBC News | Americas | Holocaust victims sue US banks
    Lawyers acting on behalf of Jewish victims of the Second World War Holocaust and their families have filed a class-action lawsuit against two United States banks, Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan.
    Thursday, 24 December, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • J.P. Morgan (J.P. Morgan Chase & Company) (USA)

  • BBC News | The Company File | Barclays to compensate Jews
    Barclays Bank has agreed to pay $3.6m to Jews whose assets were seized from French branches of the British-based bank during World War II. Barclays, along with seven French banks, was named in a lawsuit filed in New York on behalf of Jews who were unable to reclaim money they deposited during the Nazi era.
    Recently unclassified reports from the US Treasury about the activities of Chase Manhattan Bank in Paris in the 1940s indicate that the local branch worked "in close collaboration with the German authorities" in freezing Jewish assets.
    Thursday, December 17, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Barclays PLC (UK)
    • Chase Manhattan Bank (now J.P. Morgan Chase & Company) (USA)

  • BBC News | The Company File | Doubts cast over bank mega-merger
    One of the biggest financial mergers in history between Germany's Deutsche Bank and Bankers Trust of the US, could be severely delayed by calls for compensation for Holocaust victims.
    Tuesday, 8 December, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Deutsche Bank AG (Germany)
    • Swiss Bank Corporation (SNB)
    • UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland)

  • NARA - Holocaust-Era Assets - Insurance in the National Socialist Period: Sources and Research Problems
    U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
    Gerald D. Feldman
    December 1998
    Among company names appearing in this article are:
    • Allianz AG (Germany)
    • Swiss Reinsurance (Switzerland)

  • Washingtonpost.com: Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration
    by Michael Dobbs - Washington Post Staff Writer - Monday, November 30, 1998; Page A01
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Ford Motor Company (USA)
    • General Motors Corporation (USA)

  • BBC News | Europe | Siemens sets up Holocaust fund
    The German engineering company Siemens has set up a compensation fund for former slave labourers after being sued in US courts.
    Thursday, 24 September, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Siemens AG (Germany)
    • Volkswagen AG (Germany)

  • Counted for Persecution; IBM's Role in the Holocaust
    by Merry Madway Eisenstadt
    Washington Jewish Week
    September 17, 1998

  • BBC News | Americas | German firms face slave labour case
    Volkswagen is one of the companies named in lawsuits filed in the US by Holocaust survivors who say they were used as slave labour. One survivor, Elly Gross, said she was separated from her family at Auschwitz, where her mother and brother died, and taken to work at a VW factory. She said: "Auschwitz was the hell. The factory where I worked was the skirt of the hell."
    Tuesday, 1 September, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Audi AG (a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG) (Germany)
    • BMW AG (BMW Group) (Germany)
    • Daimler-Benz (now Daimler AG) (Germany)
    • Diehl (now Diehl Stiftung & Co. (Germany)
    • Krupp-Hoesch (ThyssenKrupp AG) (Germany)
    • Leica Camera AG (Germany)
    • MAN Group (predecessor GHH Fahrzeuge GmbH, Oberhausen) MAN Group sold off GHH Fahrzeuge GmbH, Oberhausen. Shares of company taken over by Schmidt, Kranz & Co. (Germany)
    • Siemens AG (Germany)
    • Volkswagen AG (Germany)

  • BBC News | Europe | Holocaust survivors sue German companies
    A group of Holocaust survivors sued some of Germany's best-known companies -- including Volkswagen and Daimler-Benz -- accusing them of having profited from slave labour during the Nazi era.
    Monday, 31 August, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Daimler-Benz (now Daimler AG) (Germany)
    • Volkswagen AG (Germany)

  • BBC News | Europe | German company sued by Holocaust survivors
    A law suit has been filed against a German company, Degussa AG, which refined gold taken from Holocaust victims. The action also says Degussa was the joint owner of the company Degesch which produced the Zyklon-B cyanide tablets used to gas hundreds of thousands of concentration camp inmates.
    Saturday, 22 August, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Degesch (now Detia Degesch GmbH) (Germany)
    • Degussa AG (Germany)

  • NARA - Holocaust-Era Assets - Marta's List: The Pursuit of Holocaust Survivors' Lost Insurance Claims
    U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
    By Steven Sullivan
    This Article appears in the July/August 1998 issue of Contingencies: American Academy of Actuaries
    The Nazi solution was simple: Don't pay.
    Letters on insurance company letterhead to the Third Reich that point to enthusiastic complicity in the denial of insurance proceeds to Jews.
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Adriatica (now a subsidiary of Allianz AG) (Germany)
    • Basler Leben
    • Assicurazioni Generali (Italy)
    • Reunione Adriatica di Sicurth (now owned by Allianz AG) (Germany)
    • Winterthur (now owned by AXA) (Switzerland)
    • AXA (Switzerland)

  • Hearing on the Swiss Banks and the 1946 Washington Accords
    Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
    Prepared Testimony of Mr. Michael D. Hausfeld, Esq.
    Counsel
    Representing the Holocaust Victims
    10:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 22, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Swiss Bank Corporation (SNB)

  • BBC News | Europe | VW to aid wartime slave workers
    Jewish groups are hoping German and Austrian firms which used slave labour in World War II will copy Volkswagen's plans to compensate its wartime victims. VW spokesman Bernd Graef said around 7,000 people were pressed into unpaid labour for the company during World War II. VW was one of around 12,000 German firms to use slave labour during the Third Reich, he added.
    Many former slave workers had already died without compensation or recognition of their suffering, the group said.
    Thursday, 9 July, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Volkswagen AG (Germany)

  • BBC News | Europe | Volkswagen: "humanitarian aid" for Nazi slave labourers
    The German car manufacturer, Volkswagen, has announced it will set up a fund to give humanitarian aid to victims of slave labour in its factories during the Nazi era.
    Tuesday, 7 July, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Volkswagen AG (Germany)

  • SUMMARY REPORT to the NAIC Holocaust Insurance Issues Working Group
    National Association of Insurance Commissioners
    Insurance Commissioner, Washington State
    Chair, NAIC Working Group on Holocaust & Insurance Issues
    June 18, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Allianz AG (Germany)
      Headquarters: Munich, Germany
      U.S. Subsidiaries: Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, American Automobile Insurance Co., American Insurance Company, Associated Indemnity Corp., Chicago Insurance Company, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. of Nebraska, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. of Wisconsin, Interstate Indemnity Co., Jefferson Insurance Co. of New York, National Surety Corp., San Francisco Reinsurance Co., Warner Insurance Co., Allianz Insurance Company.
      Dr. Kurt Schmitt, head of Allianz, served as a Minister of Economics under Hitler in the 1930's. American archival documents show that Dr. Schmitt and Allianz (along with other German carriers) successfully pressed the Nazis to relieve them of payment of Jewish claims arising from Kristallnacht.
      Other archival documents suggest that Allianz and other German carriers independently expanded the scope of Nazi "racial laws" by systematically denying claims by Jews, canceling coverage for Jewish policyholders, and other business practices.

    • Assicurazioni Generali (Italy)
      Headquarters: Rome, Italy
      U.S. Subsidiaries: Business Men's Assurance Co. of America, Generali US Branch, Jones & Babson Inc., (In addition, Generali has U.S. investments in non-insurance businesses.)
      In 1938, the company was "Aryanized", and Generali became the main foreign insurer to operate in Nazi-occupied Europe. In fact, Generali assumed portfolios of several Czech carriers after the Munich agreement.
      After the war, Generali responded to claims from Holocaust victims by asserting that absence of records and nationalization of its assets by the Communists in Eastern Europe nullified its responsibilities for such claims.

    • Riunione Adriatica di Sicurta (now owned by Allianz AG) (Germany)
      Headquarters: Trieste, Italy
      U.S. Subsidiaries: Riunione is part of the Allianz group
      Adriatica asserts that all policy records from the era were destroyed near the end of the war.

    • Winterthur Group (now owned by AXA) (Switzerland)
      Headquarters: Winterthur, Switzerland
      U.S. Subsidiaries: Blue Ridge Insurance Company, General Casualty Company of Wisconsin, Regent Insurance Company, Republic Insurance Company, Southern Insurance Company, Unigard Indemnity Company, Vanguard Insurance Company, Winterthur Life Reinsurance Company, WINCORP Inc., Southern Fire & Casualty, WINCORP Inc.of California, Republic Vanguard Life Insurance Company, Chapparal Life Insurance Co., General Casualty of Illinois, General Financial Corp., Hoosier Insurance Co., Vanguard Underwriters, Compact Service Co., Allied Premium Finance, International Administrators, MassWest Financial Group, MassWest Insurance Co., Blue Ridge Indemnity Co., So. County Mutual Insurance Co., Republic Diversified Services, Insured Lloyds, Southern Insurance Co., Republic-Vanguard Insurance Co.
      There are assertions that Winterthur agents in Belgium sold special "two-payment" life policies to Jews. Many policyholders would have been sent to death camps before the second payment and the policies may have been voided. The company categorically denies this ever happened. The issue remains unresolved.
      The Simon Wiesenthal Center pressed Winterthur for examination of records and, subsequently, identified three policies paid out to the Nazis, one a 1924 policy estimated to be worth nearly 1,000,000 Swiss francs at current values.

    • Zurich Life (Zurich Financial Services) (Switzerland)
      Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
      U.S. Subsidiaries: American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., American Zurich Insurance Co., Assurance Company of America, City Insurance Company, Colonial American Casualty & Surety Company, Empire Fire & Marine Insurance Co., Federal Kemper Life Assurance Co., Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland, Fidelity Life Association, Home Insurance Company, Kemper Investors Life Insurance Co., Maryland Casualty Co., Northern Insurance Company of New York, Universal Underwriters Insurance Co., U.S. International Reinsurance Co., ZC Insurance Company, Zurich Insurance Company, Zurich Insurance Co. U.S. Branch, Zurich Life Insurance Company of America, Zurich Reinsurance Centre Inc.

  • BBC News | Americas | Holocaust survivors accuse banks
    Holocaust survivors have launched a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against two banks, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank, accusing the institutes of laundering Jewish assets and possessions for the Nazis. One of the group, Michal Schonberger, 69, of Bayside, New York, said: "The SS robbed us of everything, even by pulling gold teeth, gold jewellery and gold coins from our live and dead bodies."
    Thursday, 4 June, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Deutsche Bank AG (Germany)
    • Dresdner Bank (now part of Allianz AG) (Germany)

  • BBC News | Americas | Holocaust survivors sue German banks
    Holocaust survivors in the United States are sueing two German banks, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank, they say appropriated assets belonging to the Jews during the Second World War.
    The group's lawyer told a news conference in New York that the banks the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank had accepted and sold looted personal property, including the gold teeth of inmates of concentration camps.
    Thursday, 4 June, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Deutsche Bank AG (Germany)
    • Dresdner Bank (now part of Allianz AG) (Germany)

  • BBC News | Europe | Swiss National Bank strongly criticised in report on Nazi gold
    An international report has strongly criticised the Swiss National Bank for its gold transactions with Nazi Germany.
    A report by the panel says the bank made no attempt to find out whether the gold it was buying had been looted from occupied countries or from individual holocaust victims.
    Monday, 25 May, 1998

  • BBC News | UK | Holocaust victims win battle for lost property
    Holocaust survivors who had their assets seized in Britain have won a victory in the fight to reclaim their property. The government has set up a new fast-track procedure to allow victims and their decendants to claim cash, valuables and other property that was seized under the 1939 Trading with the Enemy Act.
    One of those victims was Louis Mezei, a Hungarian Jew who placed his money in Britain with Lloyd's Bank in London for safe keeping during Hitler's rise to power. After Hungary sided with the Third Reich, Mr Mezei and his brother Ferenc were rounded up and shipped off to Mauthausen concentration camp. After the war, Louis tried to claim his money back from Lloyds, but was turned away by the British Government.
    Friday, April 3, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Lloyds TSB Group PLC (UK)

  • BBC News | EUROPE | Russian woman sues Ford for profits of slave labour during WW2
    A Russian-born Belgian woman is suing the American car manufacturer, Ford, for a share of the profits she alleges it made from slave labour during the Nazi period in Germany. The woman, Elsa Iwanowa, was abducted from Russia as a teenager and forced to work for the Nazi war machine at Ford's German subsidiary in Cologne.
    Thursday, 5 March, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Ford Motor Company (USA)

  • BBC News | Americas | Ford 'profited from Nazi slave labour'
    The Ford Motor Company is facing legal action in the United States for allegedly making a profit from its self-confessed use of slave labour during World War II. Its factory in Germany produced trucks for the Nazi war effort.
    Among them was Ilse Ivanova, now 72 years old. She was taken from her home at the age of 16 and forced to work in harsh conditions. "The work was extremely hard and I am still traumatised today," she said. "The foreman was like a wild animal. He pushed us about. He wore a swastika on his uniform."
    Monday, 23 February, 1998
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Ford Motor Company (USA)

  • U.S. Senate Banking Committee - Official Correspondence
    February 5, 1998
    Alfonse M. D'Amato
    Company names appearing in this article are:
    • Swiss Bank Corporation (SNB)
    • UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland)

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