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Looted Assets Claims

For the most recent distribution data for the Looted Assets Class, please click here.
Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the Looted Assets Class consists of those claimants whose assets were looted by the Nazis and disposed of or transacted through Switzerland or Swiss entities. Given this broad definition, virtually every individual who lived under or fled from Nazi occupation is a class member, since virtually every such person may be presumed to have been looted by the Nazis.

The Special Master concluded that neither a case-by-case adjudication nor a pro rata distribution was acceptable due to the large size of the Class coupled with the impossibility of determining whether specific property was transacted through a Swiss entity. Relying on legal precedent, including the principles set forth by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in connection with the Agent Orange class action settlement, the Distribution Plan recommended a cy pres remedy for those most in need of assistance. The assessment of need was based upon analysis of demographic, mortality and social welfare data from a variety of sources ranging from academic experts to the Swiss Humanitarian Fund to the Settlement Agreement Notice Administrators.

The Distribution Plan provides that the neediest class members (all of whom are presumed to have been victims of Nazi looting, the proceeds of which may have been transacted through Switzerland) are to benefit from humanitarian aid programs providing food, medicine, shelter and similar assistance. For more information on the Looted Assets Class, please read Annex G of the Distribution Plan.
The Distribution Plan allocated $100 million over a ten-year period to augment although not replace already-existing assistance programs implemented, managed and/or monitored by the JDC and the Claims Conference for Jewish needy Nazi victims, as well as to fund new programs to be implemented and monitored by the IOM for Roma, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexual and disabled needy Nazi victims. On September 25, 2002, Judge Korman approved a recommendation made by Special Master Gribetz that increased the Looted Assets Class funds by 45% (to $145 million) due to unanticipated tax relief and interest already earned on the Settlement Fund. Moreover, on November 13, 2003, Judge Korman approved the Special Master’s recommendation that an additional $60 million in excess funds be allocated to the Looted Assets Class, increasing the total amount of funds to be distributed to $205 million. Of that sum, $184.5 million was designated for the assistance of needy Jewish survivors, with the remaining $20.5 million for needy Roma, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexual and disabled survivors, based upon demographic data and historical precedent.
To read more about the Court-supervised JDC programs in the former Soviet Union, please click here to view the JDC Report on 2005 Welfare Programs for Jewish Nazi Victims in the Former Soviet Union For a brief overview of the Court-supervised Claims Conference Emergency Assistance Program, please click here. Looted Assets Class funds will continue to be distributed to these programs through 2011. Under the Court’s supervision, the IOM’s Humanitarian and Social Programme (“HSP”), completed in January 2006, assisted more than 73,000 needy Roma, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexual and disabled Nazi victims. To view IOM Humanitarian and Social Programme’s Final Report on Assistance to Needy, Elderly Survivors of Nazi Persecution, please click here