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Question of the Day
Holocaust survivors seek $20B in insurance policies
MIAMI — Thousands of aging Holocaust survivors in the U.S. want Congress to clear a path for them to sue European insurance companies they contend illegally confiscated Jewish life-insurance policies during the Nazi era and have refused to pay an estimated $20 billion still owed.
A hearing is scheduled Wednesday in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a bill that would provide the survivors with access to U.S. courts and force companies such as Germany’s Allianz SE and Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali to disclose lists of policies held by Jews before World War II.
David Schaecter, 82, who survived the Auschwitz death camp and is president of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA, describes the current U.S. policy barring survivors from suing the companies as unfair. He is expected to testify at the hearing.
The legislation’s sponsor, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, represents many of the estimated 100,000 Holocaust survivors in the U.S. and chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee. The measure has 51 co-sponsors in the House and a companion bill in the Senate.
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