The United States Government and the Government of France signed an agreement on January 18, 2001 providing for the payment of compensation to Holocaust survivors and their heirs who have claims against French banks for deposits made during the Holocaust era. France requested the negotiations leading to the agreement in order to secure the dismissal of class action suits brought against French banks in U.S. courts.
The agreement provides for the establishment of two separate funds, one of $50 million to cover claims by individuals who are able to document the existence of an account, and a second one of $22.5 million to compensate individuals who are able to establish the probability of an account but are not able find specific documentation to support that claim. The agreement also provides compensation for individuals who were subjected to additional anti-Semitic persecution.
The Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation Resulting from Anti-Semitic Legislation in Force during the [Nazi] Occupation (C.I.V.S.) processes claims under the agreement. The Department of State's Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues is a member of the Board of Directors that supervises the agreement.
On February 21, 2006, the governments of France and the United States exchanged letters providing a special $15,000 payment to Holocaust survivors and a final $1,000 payment to thousands of heirs resulting from seized French bank accounts of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. This completed an agreement originally signed in January of 2001. France requested the negotiations leading to the agreement in order to secure the dismissal of class action suits brought against French banks in U.S. courts. Since July, 2002, approximately 11,000 people received compensation under the funds established by this agreement.
For more information about the French Fund/Bank Agreement contact:
C.I.V.S.-- 33.(0) 220.127.116.11.00, http://civs.gouv.fr/spip.php?rubrique22;
The Simon Wiesenthal Center--1-800-900-9036, http://www.wiesenthal.com;
The Council Representing Institutions of French Jews (C.R.I.F.)--33.(0) 18.104.22.168.11, http://www.crif.org;
The Unifies Jewish Social Fund (S.F.J.U.)--33.(0) 22.214.171.124.10., http://www.fsju.org; or
The European Jewish Congress--33.(0) 126.96.36.199.63, http://www.eurojewcong.org/english/home.php.