We (http://www.avotaynu.com/)have established a database of Holocaust-era Jewish names.
If you recognize the name of a relative, you or someone in your
family may be an heir to unclaimed Holocaust-era assets.
The database comes from two sources. One is the list of unclaimed
Swiss bank accounts released by the Swiss government.
They are identified with a Code of "S".
These names usually include the city and country where the account
The second list comes from a collection at the Austrian State Archives
They are identified with a "A" Code.
The Austrian files include ALL assets, including possible Swiss
bank accounts, as well as insurance policies and other holdings.
When the Germans occupied Vienna in 1938, they required all Jewish
residents to complete a detailed declaration of valuables, including
bank accounts, insurance policies, real estate, art, etc. These
declarations constitute the files held in the Vienna archives. Our
source provides only the given name, family name and date of birth.
Swiss Banks As the German government confiscated assets from Jews
in many countries, they deposited some of the proceeds in
Swiss banks. Consequently, almost any Jew (or their heirs)
who lost assets or suffered during World War II may have a
claim to the $1.25 billion compensation fund established by
the Swiss banks. The deadline for filing preliminary claims
was October 22, 1999 but there may be additional opportunities
for filing in the future. On November 22, 1999, a "fairness
hearing" will be held in U.S. federal court in Brooklyn, New
York, to determine if this suit may proceed. If it is permitted,
then further details will be announced. As soon more information
is known, Living Heirs will post it on this page.
Potential categories of claims include:
Those with Swiss bank accounts
Individuals who had valuables that the Germans looted
or removed during World War II--in any country
Those forced into slave labor
Those who fled the Germans but were turned away at
the Swiss border or mistreated after entering Switzerland
For details on how to register a claim. go
There are toll-free phone numbers in four countries, if you
wish to discuss the matter with someone. In the United States,
call 1-888-635-5483; in Australia, 1-800-554-370; in South
Africa, 0-800-992-765; and in United Kingdom, 0-800-917-4424.
Download the 22 pages of claim instructions or ask that they
be sent to you. The claim form and mailing address is included.
Austrian Archives Those with Austrian files should also fill out the
Swiss bank registration. Until files are retrieved from the
Austrian archives and examined, there is no way to know if
a Swiss bank account was part of the holdings. Even those
without Swiss bank accounts may be eligible for compensation
under one of the other categories.
At this time, the only two mechanisms for retrieving assets
for individuals in this database are the two class action
lawsuits, one against the Swiss banks, the other against the
Austrian banks. We anticipate, however, that the international
commission on unpaid, Holocaust-era insurance claims, headed
by former U.S. Secretary of State, Lawrence S. Eagleburger,
will announce a process for dealing these claims later this
fall. In preparation for such an announcement, those who find
family members listed on this database (other than the Swiss
bank names marked "S"), should take steps now to retrieve
the relevant files.
Sample Entry |Surname, Given Name | Birth Date | Code | Town, Country|
|Haag, Marie Albertine | 24.09.1914 | S | Ingwiller,France
If you find a name that matches the first name, last name
of your relative, and can identify a matching birthdate, you
have located your relative on the index. Click on the name
to obtain your family's asset registry. If you find a name,
in addition to getting your family asset registry, be sure
to get information about claims
against Austrian banks.
Terms and Conditions
In using the LivingHeirs site, you, the user, confirm that
you understand and agree to the following.
This site is produced and hosted by Avotaynu,
Inc. as a public service. In using this site, you understand
that that use is "as is", with no warranty of any kind from
Avotaynu, Inc to you, expressed or implied, concerning this
site or any site to which you may link from this site. Avotaynu,
Inc. reserves the right to change or remove any site element
or functionality or to discontinue the site completely at
any time and without notice.
Should you link from this site to another
site, the user agreement, privacy statement and other conditions
applicable to that site will govern your use of that site.
Additional Links Click here
for help from Risk International if a relative lived in Vienna
in 1938 and you cannot identify the relative by name and birth
date. Click here for Czech property
confiscation list prepared by the Czech Republic government.
When you get to the site, click "Phenomenon Holocaust Project,"
then click "Property Confiscation List." Click
here for information about claims against Austrian banks. Click here
for information on how to locate documentation about the fate
of Holocaust victims or locate survivors.
Acknowledgements Avotaynu would like to thank the following persons
who participated in computerizing these lists: Especially
Michael Radel of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Philadelphia
who coordinated the volunteer effort and developed the database.
Also Robert Wascou, president of the Jewish Genealogical Society
of Sacramento. Also members of the Tiferet Bet Israel Men's
Club of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; Ginny Atkins, Ormond Beach,
Florida; Bernie Buckwalter, San Luis Obispo Genealogical Society;
Bob Factor, Newtown, Pennsylvania; Barbara Parsons, Crossville,
Tennessee; Carol Rapaport, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Jacob
Slabiak of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento;
and Dottie Woods of the Sacramento Genealogical Society.
Here a list of people whose property was confiscated
by the occupation authorities in the territory of the so-called
Protectorate. It is a copy of what was retrieved from both Gestapo
and the Central Association for Private Insurance in the Protectorate
documents, which were sent to insurance companies during the 1940-1944
The insurance companies were obliged to report
back to the Property Office, or the Gestapo, concerning insurance
policies of people who were on the list. In the case of life insurance,
policies were confiscated and their cash value was transferred to
According to our findings the list is not complete.
We know that quite a large group of people is missing
- mainly those whose property was confiscated by the Office for
Jewish Emigration. This computerized version of the list is one
of the results of the group working on holocaust-era insurance,
which has been wirking on it since May 1998.
A list of people whose property was confiscated
by the occupation authorities in the territory of the so-called