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Posted Wednesday, September


Holocaust Deals Beginning to Fold?

Wednesday, September 23, 1998

Holocaust offer withdrawn

ITALY'S largest insurer yesterday retracted its offer of £61 million in compensation to the families of Holocaust victims over tens of thousands of life policies bought before the Second World War.

The Trieste-based Assicurazioni Generali which signed a letter of intent in New York on Aug 19 to compensate relatives, blamed the families for violating the agreement, though it would not say how.

A newspaper suggested that the victims' relatives were unhappy about a clause precluding forth against the insurance company.

Bruce Johnston, Rome

© 1998 The Daily Telegraph

Our opinion
   Special Pleading  The next of kin of those who died in the Holocaust and are now claiming payment of sums insured before and during WW.II have publicly complained that when they claimed earlier, the insurance companies callously refused to pay in the absence of proof of death. (We wonder if relatives of the tens of thousands burned alive in Dresden in 1945 had the same problem.)

Even allowing that insurance companies are notoriously hard-hearted and mercenary, we still find this story hard to believe and possibly apocryphal. Certificates presuming death -- as in the case of the missing Lord Lucan -- are routinely issued by courts in cases of far less certainty than the Holocaust victims (or are there lingering doubts as to whether the victims actually died)? We reproduce elsewhere on this site death certificates actually issued to families by the Nazis for Holocaust victims.

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

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