Holocaust survivors meet claims deadline
More than 500,000 former slave labourers and other victims of the Nazis have applied for payments from Swiss and German compensation funds.
Hillary Kessler-Goden, spokeswoman for the New York-based Claims Conference, said the organisation had received 220,000 applications by the December 31 2001 deadline.
Of this number, 58,000 have already received payments. The Claims Conference estimates that once unfounded applications have been weeded out around 180,000 people will receive compensation.
These claims will be met in the first instance by the SFr8 billion ($4.85 billion) settlement established by Germany for former slave labourers. A share of the SFr2.19 billion settlement agreed in 1998 between Jewish groups and Switzerland's two biggest banks - UBS and Credit Suisse - will also be used to settle claims.
The Claims Conference says it has also received 4,500 claims from former refugees refused entry by Switzerland or mistreated after being admitted into the country. They will be compensated from Swiss funds.
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration says it has received around 293,000 claims from former slave labourers and other non-Jews who were persecuted or targeted for persecution by the Nazis.
The Zurich-based Claims Resolution Tribunal is also examining around 500 applications concerning Second World War insurance policies issued by certain Swiss insurance companies to victims or targets of Nazi persecution.
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