Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2000

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THE GREAT SHAKEDOWN continues: Greed without end; fortunately more European companies have expressed a burning desire to "donate"

Dublin, Tuesday, August 29, 2000


Nestlé makes Holocaust settlement

NESTLÉ, the world's largest food company, said today it would contribute 25 million Swiss francs ($14.6 million) to a settlement between the largest Swiss banks and Jewish organisations covering Holocaust-related legal claims.

Nestlé said it was "either certain or presumable" that Nestlé group companies in Nazi -controlled countries employed wartime prisoners as labourers, even if Nestlé did not own or control the companies during World War Two.

"As the legal successor of such corporations, Nestlé nevertheless accepts its moral responsibility to help alleviate human suffering, all the more so since this injustice was committed in the company's domain," Nestlé said.

Nestlé has already said its Maggi unit used forced labour in the German border town of Singen. The group said it expected its contribution to the $1.25 billion settlement to cover all possible legal claims that might be raised in Switzerland and abroad.

Earlier this month US Judge Edward Korman formally approved the settlement between two Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse Group, and Jewish organisations.

Under the settlement package, Swiss companies could obtain protection from future litigation if they disclose they had or might have used forced labourers during World War Two, enabling the court to identify possible claimants.

The settlement was reached amid allegations that Swiss banks prevented Holocaust survivors or their heirs from withdrawing assets deposited with the banks in neutral Switzerland.

A number of Swiss insurance companies, faced with allegations that some life insurance policies had not been honoured, have also joined the settlement.

According to media estimates, about 100 Swiss firms used 2,000 to 5,000 forced labourers in Nazi-controlled plants, mainly in small southern German towns close to the Swiss border.

The companies were said to be generally in the engineering, textiles, tiles, chemicals and tobacco industries.


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