Holocaust Assets and Swiss Banks

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Holocaust Assets and Swiss Banks
March 8, 1996

  United States Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, Chairman of the Senate BankingCommittee, has begun an inquiry into the status of assets of European Jews andothers, held by Swiss banks since their deposit there in the years precedingWorld War II and the Holocaust. Numerous sources have questioned the validity ofthe 1995 search. Moreover, serious questions arise as to the scope and nature ofthe search. According to the Swiss Bankers Association, a total of 893 accounts,holding $32 million were found. These accounts have been dormant for at leastten years and were opened before 1945. These numbers have been criticized asvastly too small.

  The inquiry will examine the procedures by which Swiss banks calculated theamount of assets in their possession. In searches conducted immediately afterthe war, in 1962-63, and most recently in 1995, the Swiss banks used differentcriteria to conduct their examinations. Therefore, the Banking Committee willevaluate how the banks searched their accounts, and what kind of accounts mighthave been missed. The Committee will try to discern if the searches werecomprehensive enough to find all assets and if an independent and impartialaudit is a better answer.

  If there are people with information that can aid this inquiry or who havemade claims and were turned down, please contact Senator D’Amato’s office(include your name, mailing address and daytime telephone number) by e-mail at:senator_al@damato.senate.gov or by mail at:

Senator Alfonse D’Amato
520 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
ATTN: Holocaust assets inquiry

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