Swiss banks ‘handed out £800m to Shoah victims and heirs’

Swiss bank in Zurich (Photo: Roland Fischer)

Swiss bank in Zurich (Photo: Roland Fischer)

Holocaust survivors and victims’ heirs have reportedly been paid more than £800 million by a Swiss fund created after banks were accused of withholding money from Jews.

According to Tachles, a Swiss-Jewish magazine, 457,000 Jews have been compensated since a settlement was made in 1998 between the World Jewish Congress and Swiss banks.

The agreement was reached after the WJC accused the banks of knowingly withholding money from survivors and heirs seeking to access secret accounts opened during the Holocaust.

Two-thirds of the settlement was allocated to the account holders, with the remaining £270 million handed over to other Holocaust victims.

Among these recipients were 199,000 Jews sent to Nazi labour camps, as well as 4,100 refugees fleeing Nazi persecution who were blocked from entering neutral Switzerland.

New York judge Edward Korman, who oversaw the distribution of the fund, also sanctioned payments to 236,000 victims of Nazi occupation.

Additionally, 12,300 claimants whose applications were classed as “plausible but undocumented” were given a flat-rate amount of $5,000 each.

Last updated: 6:20pm, July 16 2013