Swiss banks publish dormant WWII-era accounts
$15 million more found that may belong to Nazi victims
July 23, 1997
Web posted at: 8:14 a.m. EDT (1214 GMT)
ZURICH, Switzerland (CNN) -- Hoping to shed light on what
happened to missing assets of Holocaust victims and help
heirs recover what's due them, Swiss banks on Wednesday broke
with their long-standing tradition of secrecy and
published -- in newspapers and on the Internet -- the names
of about 2,000 holders of World War II-era accounts left
The list of dormant accounts begins with R. Joh. Aalberts of
London and ends with Dr. Karl G. Zwick of Cincinnati. A
separate list, containing Swiss and other names discovered
later, is to be released in October.
Swiss banks dormant accounts site:
Both the Web site (http://www.dormantaccounts.ch/) and ads
being published by the Swiss Bankers Association in
newspapers around the world list people who have power of
attorney over the accounts and give instructions on how to
file claims for the money.
|Voicing his opinion on Swiss Bank procedure -- Claimant Miklos Hammer speaks to CNN
265 K/20 sec. AIFF or WAV sound
An independent international panel has been set up to review
claims. Unclaimed accounts could be earmarked for charity.
Switzerland has been under mounting pressure for more than
two years for a full accounting of its wartime dealings with
the Nazis, and assets of Jews killed during that era.
Additional $15 million found
Meanwhile, Swiss banks said they had uncovered an additional
21 million Swiss francs (U.S. $15 million) that might belong
to Jewish victims of the Nazis and their heirs.
That brings to 60 million francs (U.S. $43 million) the total
assets for which the banks have lost contact with the owners
But the banks have already said that a sizable portion of
those accounts were opened since World War II and have
nothing to do with the Holocaust.
The Swiss Bankers Association said it had raised the amount
of unclaimed accounts mainly on the basis of a review by the
Swiss Bank Corp., which added $11 million to the amount it
originally had reported in 1995.
More unclaimed accounts may yet be found, George F. Krayer,
president of the bankers association, said at a news
Some Jewish organizations claim that up to $7 billion in
assets and accrued interest remain hidden in Swiss banks.
Until Wednesday, the banks had maintained the true figure was
less than $30 million.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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