Holocaust Claimants Receiving $16 Million in 63 Countries

March 31, 2004

New York Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio and officials from the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) announced that approximately $16 million in humanitarian payments are going out to approximately 16,000 ICHEIC claimants in 63 countries who are Holocaust survivors or their heirs.

The $16 million will be paid to approximately 5,000 recipients in the U.S., 5,000 recipients in Israel and thousands of additional recipients around the globe. The vast majority of these recipients are Holocaust survivors and will receive humanitarian payments of $1,000 on a per claimant basis. Of the 16,000 receiving payments, 1,069 recipients reside in New York State.

ICHEIC is making these payments from its Humanitarian Fund to which all of its member companies and the German Foundation, “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future,” have contributed. These payments are the first in a series of ICHEIC payments to be distributed throughout the spring and summer. A total $132 million is being allocated over a 10-year period, with $15 million disbursed in 2003. More funds will be allocated each year for the next decade.

Israel Singer, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, thanked Gov. George Pataki, who initiated the office to serve victims in the 50 states.

“It is important to note the work of former Insurance Superintendent Neil Levin, who started this process with us,” Singer added. “We have been successful in the banking area only because the governor instructed his banking superintendents to work with us. This is a patchwork of efforts to make justice happen at this late date.”

The CHEIC was established in 1998 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in conjunction with several European insurance companies, European regulators, representatives of several Jewish organizations, and the State of Israel. ICHEIC is charged with establishing a just process that will expeditiously address the issue of unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust.

ICHEIC has received in excess of $500 million to be used for the payment of claims and for humanitarian purposes.

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