hide The Swiss Banks Holocaust Settlement claims program is now closed, and this website is no longer being updated. It remains online through the assistance of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This program was operated by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, beginning with the class action lawsuits filed in 1996 and completed with the last distributions to claimants in 2020. This website contains information about the Swiss Banks Holocaust litigation, settlement and distribution process, the Special Masters’ filings including the proposed Distribution Plan and the Final Report, as well as links to the Court’s decisions and other relevant filings and materials.

Slave Labor Class II

Please note that the deadline to file a Slave Labor Class II claim has expired.
Distribution data concerning Slave Labor Class II may be accessed here.
Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Slave Labor Class II consisted of those claimants who performed slave labor for Swiss entities, defined as “any facility or work site, wherever located, actually or allegedly owned, controlled, or operated by any corporation or other business concern headquartered, organized or based in Switzerland or any affiliate thereof...” Slave Labor Class II was the one class not limited to the five “Victim or Target” groups.
As a condition to approval of the Settlement Agreement, the Court accepted the Special Masters' recommendation that Swiss entities that used slave labor were required to self-identify. Failure to self-identify would result in a denial of a release. The Court explained the rationale for this requirement in its July 26, 2000 opinion approving the settlement as fair: “When this class was included in the Settlement Agreement, the defendant banks represented that Slave Labor Class II consists of an extremely small number of persons who may have performed slave labor directly for an extremely small number of Swiss companies during World War II. Since then, they have backed off of this representation.” The resulting problem was that “the Slave Labor Class II releasees consisted almost entirely of affiliates or subsidiaries of Swiss entities that were incorporated in Germany and elsewhere.” Class members had “no reason to know at the time that the company was Swiss” and “may not be aware that they are in the class” even with notice of the settlement. In theory, any surviving Nazi-era slave laborer was eligible under Slave Labor Class II. For more information on Slave Labor Class II, please refer to Annex I of the Distribution Plan.
On April 4, 2001, the Court issued an order listing those companies that had self-identified to the Special Masters and had provided information concerning their use of slave labor. Following further proceedings, on October 7, 2003, the District Court approved a stipulation finalizing the Slave Labor Class II List of Releasees.
The Distribution Plan provided for payments of $1,000 (subsequently increased to $1,450) to former slave laborers, or to their heirs, if the former slave laborer died on or after February 16, 1999.
The International Organization for Migration ("IOM") was designated to process all claims under Slave Labor Class II. Claimants who indicated a possible Slave Labor Class II claim on their Initial Questionnaire were sent applications by the IOM. As with the other classes, applications also were made available over the Internet and at Holocaust survivor help centers around the world.
The IOM processed claims on an individualized basis and submitted its recommendations to the Special Masters for review, and then to the Court.
  • Slave Labor Class II Approvals:

    Case summaries relating to Nazi victims who performed slave labor for Swiss entities can be accessed here.

  • Slave Labor Class II Not Recommended for Approval:

    Over 16,000 individuals filed claims under Slave Labor Class II that could not be recommended for approval because these individuals, although they may have performed slave or forced labor during the Holocaust, did not plausibly demonstrate that they performed such labor for Swiss entities as required under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. However, to the extent that any of these claimants were Jewish, Roma, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexual or disabled, their slave labor claims were compensable under Slave Labor Class I, and were reviewed and submitted to the Court for approval either by the IOM or the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

    Examples of Slave Labor Class II claims not recommended for approval included claims submitted by individuals deported to and/from Albania; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Czechoslovakia; Finland; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Lithuania; Romania; Ukraine; Poland and Russia. Representative case summaries for such claims can be accessed here.