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Swiss Parliament Gives Fund Left by Jews Who Died in Concentration Camps to Jewish and Refugee Group

The Swiss Parliament voted unanimously yesterday to give to Jewish agencies and a refugee group the remaining funds left in Swiss bank accounts of European Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps. The Swiss National Council voted 123-0 to give two-thirds of the unclaimed money to the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities and one-third to the private Swiss Central office for Refugee Affairs.

Only about two million francs remains of the millions deposited by European Jews Just before World War II. After the war, those who managed to escape Nazi persecution collected what they had deposited. Surviving relatives of victims collected more. Swiss approval came despite criticism by the Arab press of the proposal. A Kuwait newspaper last month denied that the funds were Jewish property and claimed that the Arab League was going to take up the matter. There has been no official Arab protest however.

In urging support of the Swiss legislators Justice Minister Kurt Furgier told Parliament that approval of the measure would finally close a case that began “in the darkest period of modern history.”