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Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US

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State of New York Banking Dept. Holocaust Claims Processing Office
If you believe you are the rightful owner of a World War II-era dormant account in a Swiss bank you may request a claim form from the State of New York Banking Dept. Holocaust Claims Processing Office by telephoning 1(800)695-3318. If you require assistance with filling out the form you can call the toll free number: (800)695-3318 and speak with a staff person at the Holocaust Claims Processing Office. The staff people are trained to assist individuals with the forms and speak a variety of languages.

State of New York Banking Dept. Holocaust Claims Processing Office
2 Rector St.
New York, NY 10006

Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation against Swiss Banks Docket # CV-96-4849   You may have important rights under a proposed $1.25 billion (U.S.) Settlement of a class action lawsuit against private Swiss Banks and other Swiss Entities for their alleged conducted related to World War II and the Holocaust.

The Settlement is intended to resolve litigation filed on behalf of Victims of Nazi Persecution and their heirs or successors. The United State District Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on November 29, 1999 to decide whether or not the Settlement should be given final approval.

No claims process or Plan of Allocation has yet been established. In March 1999, the Court appointed Jucay Gribetz to serve as a Special Master. If the $1.25 billion Settlement is approved, and after November, 1999, the Special Master will propose for the United States Court’s consideration, a Plan of Allocation and Distribution of the Settlement Fund, employing open and equitable procedures to ensure fair consideration of all proposals.

Not all Holocaust victims, survivors or their heirs are affected by the Settlement. You are affected only if you fit into one of five Settlement Classes.

You are affected by the Settlement if you fit into one of the following five Settlement Classes. Four classes consist of "Victims or Targets of Nazi Persecution" defined as any individual, business or group persecuted or targeted for persecution by the Nazi Regime or its agents, because they are or were believed to be Jewish, Romani, Jehovah's Witness, Homosexual or Physically or Mentally Disabled or Handicapped and who:

  • Had assets (including such things as bank accounts, securities and safe deposit box contents), on deposit in any Swiss bank, investment fund, or other custodian prior to May 9, 1945 (Deposited Assets Class), OR
  • May have claims against private Swiss Entities relating to assets that were looted or taken by the Nazi Regime, or relating to "Cloaked Assets", which are assets disguised by a Swiss Entity for the benefit of an Axis company, entity or person associated with the Nazi Regime, between 1933 and 1946 (Looted Assets Class), OR
  • Performed slave labor for companies or other entities that may have deposited the revenues or proceeds of that labor with or transacted such revenue and proceeds through Swiss Entities (Slave Labor Class I), OR
  • Unsuccessfully sought entry into Switzerland to avoid Nazi persecution, or after gaining entry were deported or mistreated, and may have related claims against any Swiss Entity (Refugee Class).

The fifth Settlement Class consists of all persons, whether or not a Victim or Target of Nazi persecution as previously defined, who were forced to perform slave labor in any facility or work site, wherever located, that was owned, controlled or operated by any Swiss company or other entity (Slave Labor Class II).

All five of these Settlement Classes include heirs, successors, administrators, executors, affiliates and assigns of the persons or entities described above.

Deadlines and Key Dates

The Mailed Notice, which you can request, describes the deadlines and key dates in more detail.

October 22, 1999 is the deadline for mailing, with respect to the $1.25 billion (U.S.) Settlement, comments on or objections to the Settlement, requests to be excluded from the Settlement Classes and requests for information regarding the allocation and distribution of the Settlement Fund.

These and other matters are described in the Mailed Notice. If you do not follow the instructions in the Mailed Notice by October 22, 1999, you may lose rights or compensation to which you would otherwise be entitled. It is, therefore, very important to ask for and read the Mailed Notice.

A Fairness Hearing to determine whether or not the proposed Settlement should be approved has been scheduled for November 29, 1999, as described in the Mailed Notice.

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