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Holocaust Era Insurance Claims  
- Liability of European insurance companies and insurance claims in Greece - 1.6.00 

Liability of European insurance companies and insurance claims in Greece - 1.6.00 

On behalf of Washington State Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn I want to express her outrage at the desecration this weekend of the Athens cemetery and her support to you and the entire Jewish community of Greece. This attack on decency is an affront and affects not only your community, but all Jews everywhere, and indeed all friends of democracy,  freedom, and pluralism. We are deeply saddened and offer you our condolences. 

Our office recently purchased from the U.S. Holocaust Museum microfilm copies of the communal archives of the Thessaloniki Jewish community containing the personal property declarations of 43,000 Greek Jews filled out prior to their deportation in March 1943. We are attempting to determine who may have had insurance, and with what companies, etc. so that we might help determine the liability of European insurance companies with regard to unpaid Holocaust-era insurance claims. It is our desire to review the documents, index and publish the 43,000 names on our website and make these documents available to anyone who may want copies of their family's information. 

We are working with both our local Sephardic community, which as you know has strong Greek roots, as well as the local non-Jewish Greek community. Obviously, we  would very much like to work with you and your organization in this project as well and would appreciate any ideas or assistance you may be able to offer . 

I have a couple of questions I am hoping you might be able to assist us with. 

First of all, do you know where these communal archives came from? I believe I was told or read that these documents were found in the Moscow archives where they were brought by the Russian army following the defeat of Nazi Germany. Do you have a set of the original documents? 

The forms ask for information about houses, real estate and mortgages; business properties, partnerships and warehouses; and workshops, machinery and shop equipment. 

But we note that unlike similar property declarations in Austria or Czechoslovia for example, there is no place on the form for financial assets such as banks accounts, insurance, etc. We know the filling out of these forms was intended to help facilitate the Nazis in looting bank accounts, etc. The absense on the forms for this information therefore seems rather odd. 

Any information you can provide will be most helpful and appreciated. 

I look forward to hearing back from you, and again, offer our support in this time of difficulty for your community. 

Marvin Stern 
Holocaust Survivor Assistance Office 
Washington State Office of the  Insurance Commisisoner
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