Hungary SIG #Hungary * Swiss Banks Assets Litigation (was re: praise & filing claim- question) #hungary
Tom Venetianer <tom.vene@...>
Hello Linda and all,
I sent a quite detailed report about this subject to JewishGen which I now
reproduce here. This is a long message so please forgive me but some may
find it interesting and it may clarify some issues.
As for Linda's question, the answer is: it depends!
First, you may or may not have a claim even if you would be a VERY CLOSE
relative. The commission which will decide on the distribution of the 1.25
billion USD reparation fund will scrutinize if the deceased person
fulfilled one or more of the 4 application rules (described in more detail
below). The MAIN criteria is - was a Swiss bank or corporation part of the
Nazi looting or slave labor gains related to that particular person?
The second issue is basically related to inheritance right. If the person
submitting the request for reparation can prove that she/he is a living
heir (sole or one of them) of the claiming person then she/he can apply.
The third point is - do you can prove that the claiming person was indeed
deported, executed slave labor or had assets stolen.
According to the Notice I received (see instructions below), EVERYBODY who
BELIEVES has a *right to claim* should submit the Initial Questionnaire. I
have done so in the name of my deceased parents, given that they never
received reparation for stolen assets neither my father for having been in
a slave camp and I am their sole inheritor. On the other hand, even having
been in Terezin, I couldn't claim for myself because I was too young for
slave labor. In this particular case, physical suffering, sickness, ill
treatment, hunger, psychological injuries, etc. *do not count*!
I hope this helps. If I can be of further help please let me know.
________________________________ The JewishGen report
to all those who may wish to submit a claim to the Holocaust Victims Assets
Litigation Commission (Swiss Banks Litigation).
You probably heard about the Paul Volker's Commission, which he formed to
litigate reparations for Jewish property and assets seized by Nazis, Swiss
firms or other wrongdoings by Swiss companies and banks.
What you *may not have noticed* is that practically ANYBODY who has been
persecuted and interned in a concentration camp (such as I) OR who is
*descendant and heir* of ANYBODY whose assets were stolen by the Nazis
during 1939-1945 CAN PLACE A CLAIM and eventually get some reparation.
Here is the story and background: the Swiss are EAGER to clean up their
mess. The Paul Volker commission has made them commit to pay around 1.25
billion US dollars in reparation money. On November 29, 1999 there will be
a final hearing regarding the fairness of $1.25 Billion Settlement
Agreement, conducted by an United States federal judge and intended to
settle and resolve Holocaust-related legal claims against Swiss banks and
other Swiss entities. In my opinion, it is VERY sure that the plaintiffs
will get favorable assessment.
Who are plaintiffs? Legally speaking, ONLY those who fulfill one or several
of the following conditions:
(1) individuals who maintained a bank account or a safe deposit box with a
which has not been returned to the plaintiff;
(2) individuals who were denied entry into, or expelled >from Switzerland,
World War II;
(3) individuals who were forced by the Nazis to perform slave labor for a
corporation, or for a corporation that banked in Switzerland; or
(4) individuals who had property stolen by the Nazis that was disposed of
At a first glance one would deduce that VERY FEW belong to the above
categories. However, technically speaking, MANY MORE can place a claim. ALL
those who have been persecuted during WW2, performed slave labor OR whose
assets were stolen by the Nazis AND *heirs* of such Jewish subjects *can
submit a claim*. As a matter of fact, the Notice I got states the following:
Even if you are unsure of whether you have a claim against a Swiss entity,
you should complete the enclosed Initial Questionnaire, and follow the
procedures described in the enclosed Notice to preserve your rights. For
example, if you performed slave labor, you may not know whether revenue or
proceeds of that slave labor were deposited with Swiss banks. Or, you may
have had assets looted by the Nazi regime, but you may not know whether
those assets were disposed of through a Swiss bank.
In both instances, you may still be entitled to share in the Settlement
fund. Although there is no guarantee that you will recover any money, you
should complete the enclosed Initial Questionnaire, and follow the
procedures described in the enclosed Notice to preserve your rights.
Therefor I URGE you to fill out and submit the so called **Initial
Questionnaire**, which should be mailed *not later* then October 22, 1999.
Please distribute this message to friends, family members or people who you
think can be interested in this subject.
____/ OBTAINING THE INITIAL QUESTIONNAIRE
The Notice and Questionnaire are available in several languages (including
English, German, Slovakian and Hungarian) at the Holocaust Victims Assets
Litigation site <http://www.swissbankclaims.com>. The procedures to obtain
this document are a *bit complicated*. Therefor, for those who are less
skilled in the black magic of computers and similar meshigas, I have
prepared some simple step-by-step directions to obtain the claim form and
____/ THE EASIEST WAY
(if you wish to obtain an electronic version in English)
1. You must know what Adobe Acrobat is and be able to print an Adobe
Acrobat PDF document. If you don't know what Adobe Acrobat is then use the
next tip ("Obtaining the form by regular mail")
2. If you have the Acrobat Reader installed on your computer then point
your browser to http://mvassist.pair.com/Vendir/Shoah/FullNotice.pdf and
download a document called "FullNotice.pdf". I only stored the English
version, thus those who wish to obtain it in any other language will have
to go through the painful process described in "Downloading the form" or
the tip which follows.
____/ OBTAINING THE FORM BY REGULAR MAIL
3. For those who do not have an Adobe Acrobat Reader installed and do not
wish to bother to understand what this program is and does, it is possible
to obtain the INITIAL CLAIM QUESTIONNAIRE by snail-mail (regular mail) in
ANY language. For that proceed as instructed in points 4. through 8.
To test the speed of this option I requested a form by mail. Got it in 2
days! This is REALLY QUICK given that I live in Brazil and the form was
posted in San Francisco.
4. Load the entry page of the Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation site
5. Select the language of your preference. Notice that this selection
determines also the language in which you will download the form needed to
submit an initial claim.
6. Click on the side bar the link tagged "Register to Receive the Mailed
7. A new page loads with some bla-bla, but there is one line which reads:
"To register to receive the Mailed Notice and Initial Questionnaire, click
on which the phrase "click here" is a link you should click on :-)
8. A new page loads, tagged REGISTRATION. Fill out the form and click on
the "Submit Query" button. That's all, unless you wish to navigate on the
side bar which permits loading other pages of online information.
____/ DOWNLOADING THE FORM
9. For the "experts" who have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, it is
possible to download an Acrobat file (PDF format) which contains the full
Notice and the form. Once downloaded, this document (called FullNotice.pdf)
can be printed on any printer attached to your computer.
10. Load the entry page of the Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation site
11. Select the language of your preference. Notice that this selection
determines also the language in which you will download the form needed to
submit an initial claim.
12. Click on the side bar the link tagged "Download the Notice".
13. You get a page with a lot of bull (pardon my French). On the bottom of
the page you will notice two links. The last one reads "Entire Mailed
Notice". Click on this link.
14. Instead of a download, the REGISTRATION page shows up. You MUST fill
out this form in order to be able to download the Full Notice in PDF
format. Click on the "Submit Query" button. A page tagged DOWNLOAD THE
NOTICE appears. Read if you wish the text, then go to the last link (tagged
"Entire Mailed Notice").
15. Two things can now happen: either a dialog opens asking you to indicate
the directory (folder) in which you wish to store the downloaded file) OR
the Acrobat Reader opens on your browser's main window. In the first case
the file will download and you will be able to open it with the Acrobat
Reader, then print it on your printer.
16. In the second case you will be forced to print the document online.
It's a 22 page long document, thus it takes quite a while. If you are lucky
and your Internet line doesn't drops, you will end up with a printed
version but there is no way to save the file. If anything happens in the
middle of printing (like Murphy walking around your computer and freezing
it) you will have to start >from point 14.
(C) copyright notice: the file which you download according to step 2.
belongs to the owners of the Holocaust Victims Assets Litigation site. I
detain NO RIGHTS to it. I placed it on my site with the sole purpose to
facilitate the complicated procedure just described.
______________________________ Reply Separator
no dia 29/08/99 `as 02:00 -0300 horas, Linda Rakoff escreveu:
at 29/08/99 - 02:00 -0300, Linda Rakoff wrote:
>| Subject: praise & filing claim question
>| From: Rakoff125@aol.com
>| Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 10:35:54 EDT
>| X-Message-Number: 3
>| Question- How much of a relationship must one have to file a claim on
>| of victims of the Shoah who are on the Swiss bank list? Does anyone
know if I
>| should bother if I'm talking great gt uncle or cousin? Thanks in
>| your ideas.
>| Linda Rakoff, Newton, Massachusetts