Holocaust Papers Could Aid Compensation

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Public access to millions of Nazi war documents, kept in closed archives for 60 years, could help Holocaust survivors win larger claims for restitution, survivors groups say.

Plans to open the Red Cross-administered archives at Bad Arolsen, Germany, should persuade committees handling compensation for survivors "to halt the rush to judgment" in settling claims, said the Holocaust Survivors' Foundation-USA, a national coalition of American survivors' organizations.

Some of the survivors also are appealing a federal court's dismissal of class action suits against the Italian insurance company Assicurazioni Generali for allegedly refusing to honor policies predating World War II.

"Survivors have been denied access to the necessary information required to mount full and effective disgorgement of the ill-gotten gains of the European plunderers," said an open letter by the coalition, which has more than two dozen groups representing about 20,000 Holocaust survivors.

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