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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Holocaust survivors accuse Obama administration of ignoring their pleas for justice

By Jay Weaver





JewishWorldReview.com |

MIAMI — (MCT) U.S. Holocaust survivors who have struggled to gain the right to sue giant European insurers that stole their families' death benefits during World War II are calling out the Obama administration for ignoring their pleas for justice.

Several of the leaders of the South Florida-based Holocaust Survivors Foundation-USA politically supported President Barack Obama. But the group is accusing his administration in a letter of denying victims of the Nazi death camps access to U.S. courts to recover untold millions of dollars in looted life insurance proceeds.

The group's leaders met Friday in Miami Beach to draw media attention to their struggle while they commemorated the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. It is recognized as the start of the Holocaust, when Nazi soldiers smashed the windows of Jewish homes, stores, businesses and synagogues in Germany and Austria.

The survivors distributed their letter, titled "Welcome back to Miami, Mr. President," to reporters on the same day Obama was scheduled to attend a series of private Democratic Party fundraisers in the Miami area.

In the letter addressed to Obama, the survivors reminded the president that his campaign sought and secured their political support — "then proceeded to ignore our pleas to restore our rights to go to court to recover unpaid insurance policies sold to our parents and grandparents."



They cited the Obama administration's opposition to their legal case that failed before the U.S. Supreme Court, and to congressional legislation that would give Holocaust survivors the right to sue the German company, Allianz, and other European insurers that aided the Nazis.

"We are not asking for charity, only the same rights as every other American to go to U.S. courts to enforce legal contracts," read the letter, signed by the Holocaust Survivors' Foundation president, David Schaecter, 84, and other members.

"How would you feel if your own government sided with such predators against you and your family? Most Americans understand that it would be unacceptable to lose their legal right to challenge an insurance company who dishonored a family policy in this way. Yet this is the position of your State and Justice Departments. For shame."


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A White House spokeswoman referred a Miami Herald reporter's request for comment to the Justice Department.

The Justice Department, in a stand shared by the Obama administration and European insurance companies, has long maintained that an international Holocaust claims commission formed in 1998 was the only way to resolve survivors' insurance policy disputes.

But the South Florida-based survivors group has always countered that the international claims process was deeply flawed.

In their letter distributed Friday, the Holocaust survivors pointed out that they were persuaded in the past not to protest against the president himself, because of pledges that the Obama administration "would honorably deal with our concerns."

"Most recently, during the 2012 election, Vice President (Joe) Biden promised us he would review these issues from top to bottom. Despite one polite meeting, nothing changed."

"There is no more time for us, Mr. President," the group's letter read. "This has always been and remains about life and death. Will you lead? Will you act? Are you with the Holocaust survivors or are you against us?"

The group's lobbying hasn't fallen completely on deaf ears.

In recent years, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, — along with colleagues Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alcee Hastings, Mario Diaz-Balart and Fredericka Wilson — took a vocal stand as they tried to push legislation through Congress that would allow potentially thousands of Holocaust-era policyholders in South Florida and elsewhere to sue Allianz and other European insurers in U.S. courts. Her bill drew the support of more than 100 colleagues in the House and four others in the Senate, including Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio.

But her legislation encountered opposition from the Obama administration, European insurers and even some major Jewish organizations, which backed an international Holocaust claims commission and other vehicles to resolve disputes with survivors.

Despite unanimous passage of the bill in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House leadership refused to allow a floor vote last year.

Schaecter, an Auschwitz survivor and Miami Lakes businessman, said there are 100,000-plus survivors in the United States, with more than one-third living in poverty, who have been "robbed of their dignity."

The German insurer, Allianz, which has 10,000 employees in the United States, has acknowledged the survivors' profound suffering. The company has openly admitted its collaboration with the Nazis, noting a "groundbreaking" book was published in 2001 on its dark history. Among the disclosures: Allianz sold hundreds of thousands of life insurance policies to Jews during the 1930s and '40s, while insuring the death camps during World War II. The company also sent money to the Nazis instead of rightful Jewish beneficiaries.

"While we cannot undo any aspect of our company's history, we can learn from it and work to make sure the horrors of the Holocaust are never again repeated," Allianz spokeswoman Sabia Schwarzer said in a statement last year.

Schwarzer said the German insurer met its obligation to the vast majority of Holocaust survivors with unpaid policies through the International Commission on Holocaust Insurance Claims.

But Miami attorney Samuel Dubbin, who represents the South Florida-based survivors group, said the international commission only obtained payouts of $250 million for about 14,000 claimants, or less than 3 percent of all outstanding Holocaust-era life insurance claims. The commission also issued 34,000 humanitarian payments of $1,000 each.

Experts such as Sidney Zabludoff, a retired U.S. government economist who later worked for a Jewish claims restitution group, estimated that Allianz, the Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali and other companies sold a total of 879,000 life insurance policies to Eastern European Jews that have a present value of about $20 billion.

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© 2013, The Miami Herald Distributed by MCT Information Services