The group Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation USA contends the Democratic senator promised during the 2008 presidential campaign he would push for legislation to force companies such as Germany’s Allianz and Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali to disclose lists of pre-World War II policies. The bill also would also give survivors the right to sue the insurers in U.S. courts to satisfy their claims.
“We are devastated that they lack the simple decency to respect our full rights as United States citizens,” said David Schaecter, 82, of Miami and president of the group, the Miami Herald reported. “Mr. Nelson promised to support us face to face, but he reneged.”
The survivors want to collect what they say is $20 billion in Jewish insurance policies never paid by European companies. Many Jewish families who tried to collect on policies taken out by people killed in Nazi camps were told they needed the original paperwork or a death certificate, neither of which was available.
Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin said the senator followed through on his promise to hold a hearing on the group’s legislation, but found some Jewish organizations opposed the bill, the Associated Press reported.
Nelson’s fundraiser is set to take place at the swanky Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. The senator is up for re-election next year.