- Title: SWITZERLAND: HOLOCAUST VICTIMS TO RECEIVE MONEY FROM MEMORIAL FUND
- Date: 6th July 1997
- Summary: BERNE, SWITZERLAND (JULY 6, 1997) (RTV) 1. LAS HOTEL BELLEVUE, BERNE (PLACE OF MEETING) 0.06 2. SCU SWISS FLAG 0.11 3. MV MEMBERS ARRIVING 0.19 4. SLV NEWS CONFERENCE (THE 7 MEMBERS) 0.23 5. SCU ISRAEL SINGER, WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS SECRETARY GENERAL SAYING "THE EFFORTS THAT WE MAKE HERE WILL AUGAR WELL FOR THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ENVIRONMENT BETWEEN THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND SWITZERLAND AND BETWEEN THE WORLD AND SWITZERLAND" (ENGLISH) 0.48 6. SLV PRESS CONFERENCE 0.52 7. SCU ROLPH BLOCH, PRESIDENT OF HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND SAYING HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE ALLOCATED AND THE NEED TO PRIORITISE (ENGLISH) 1.29 8. SV DELEGATES IN RECEPTION 1.34 9. SV DELEGATES SEEN THROUGH DOOR OF CONFERENCE ROOM 1.38 10. SLV ROUND TABLE OF FIRST MEETING HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL FUND COMMITTEE (5 SHOTS) 2.00 Initials S3 P3 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVABU6ETO5L9R4PF1PVR55QLZANP
- Location: BERNE, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Duration: 00:02:02
- Story Text: - INTRO: The executive committee of Switzerland's Holocaust Memorial Fund has pledged to start distributing money as quickly as possible to holocaust victims and their families.
With the clock ticking for Holocaust victims who are now on average 80 years old, there is no time to lose in handing out millions of dollars (USD) in humanitarian aid donated by Swiss banks and private businesses.
Chairman Rolf Bloch, also head of the Swiss Jewish Federation, told reporters before the seven-member panel began its first meeting on Monday (July 7), that he wanted the aid to be distributed as quickly and as fairly as possible.
He did not say which groups might get part of the 160 million Swiss francs (110 million USD) in donations already paid in by private businesses eager to bolster Switzerland's image amid foreign criticism that it cynically profitted from World War Two.
But panel members cited the special plight of Holocaust survivors in eastern Europe, known as "double victims" for their inability to get compensation during the Cold War for their suffering during Hitler's systematic murder of six million Jews and others deemed unworthy to live.
The Swiss central bank, which admits it bought gold from Nazi Germany that it should have known was looted from the countries and peoples that Hitler's troops overran, also plans to contribute 100 million francs (69.3 million USD) if parliament approves.
Bloch said he and his colleagues, three representatives of Jewish groups and three Swiss, wanted to press ahead even though the fund's secretariat had not yet been formed.
World Jewish Congress (WJC) secretary general Israel Singer, sitting in for WJC President Edgar Bronfman, praisedthe panel's no-nonsense approach.
He said the efforts would augur well for the beginning of a new environment between the Jewish people and Switzerland and between the world and Switzerland.
Singer was referring to months of wrangling between Swiss banks and Jewish groups over accusations that banks are hoarding billions of dollars in dormant wealth of Holocaust victims, a charge the financial institutions deny.
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