Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

8 Adar II 5760 - March 15, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Degel HaTorah Branches Aid Holocaust Period Insurance Claimants

by S. Fried

Degel HaTorah branches throughout Israel have made arrangements to help Holocaust survivors and their families recover assets owed to them from the Holocaust period by insurance companies.

Recently an international commission to handle the claims of insurance policy owners from this time was set up. Many Jews who purchased policies before the Holocaust never received the amounts due, nor did their heirs. The insurance companies -- like the banks from the period of the Holocaust -- made no efforts to publicize the names of the owners of the old policies in their archives. In some cases they placed serious obstacles in the way of those who sought to collect, like demanding death certificates for those who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Following the recent arousal of interest in the issue of the return of assets and compensation for property stolen during the Holocaust, worldwide attention was also directed to the insurance polices.

The leading companies first tried to shun their responsibility. But as a result of international efforts, the companies have agreed to compensate the policy owners.

Anyone who has clear proof of the existence of such policies should be able to obtain their estimated value. However, people who merely suspect that their families held such policies may also file claims, explaining the basis for their claim.

The aggregate sum which the insurance companies intend to allot to meet all these claims has yet to be determined.

The international commission is setting up worldwide information centers to apprise as many people as possible about their eligibility for such funds, as well as to publicize details of the agreement. In Israel, the A.B. Data Company will handle applications. It was accorded this function after a public tender.

The Company has appointed a special coordinator to deal with the chareidi community. He is Lt.-Gen. (Res.) Shmuel Akrev, who is also chairman of the Degel HaTorah branch in Herzlia.

Information and applications have been distributed to all Degel HaTorah branches throughout the country.

It is recommended that anyone who has any basis whatsoever for a claim should apply to the advisory office.

One may phone Mr. Shmuel Akrev directly at 052-500-764. Information concerning the various branches can be obtained from the Bnei Brak branch, 25 Ben Yaakov Street, 03- 6762622.

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