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Creditanstalt AG and Bank Austria AG agreed to settle a class action
lawsuit relating to their conduct before and during World War II.
The defendants denied all allegations and did not admit to any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay a total of $40 million. $38 million is to be paid in three installments, with the remaining $2 million to be paid by Bank Austria to establish and support the research of a Historical Commission.
The Historical Commission will publish a report detailing the activities of the Austrian banks during the Nazi era, and attempt to identify class members. Upon conclusion of the research, all documents and information collected will be delivered to the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
Not all Holocaust survivors or their heirs are affected by this settlement. Class members include only those people (or immediate family members, if deceased) persecuted by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1946 because of their race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, political belief, sexual orientation or disability; and who were damaged directly or indirectly by Bank Austria or Creditanstalt.
Evidence of injury includes those who had assets on deposit with these banks that were confiscated, stolen or not returned; those whose assets (including gold and gems) were looted by the Nazis and transferred to these banks; those who sent moneys to concentration camp inmates through these banks that was diverted or never reached the recipient; and those forced to endure slave labor in cases where these banks profited from said labor.
For claims information visit: http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=austria/bank_fund or send your request to:
Schlam, Stone, & Dolan
Claims will be valued and processed by an Individual Claims Officer using criteria established by the court. Any decision of the claims officer is subject to review by an Individual Claims Committee appointed by the court. Until all claims have been received, it is not possible to quantify the amount that any individual claimant might receive.
Any amounts remaining in the Restitution Fund shall be distributed for the benefit of Holocaust survivors and/or their memory, including those not necessarily of the Jewish faith. Bank Austria and Creditanstalt also agreed to use reasonable efforts to locate, and provide, to the extent permitted by applicable law, access to their archives and documents which pertain to claims.