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Holocaust commission sets final meeting

The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims will hold its final meeting in Washington. Created in 1998 by a voluntary association of European insurance companies, state insurance regulators and representatives of Jewish groups, the commission, better known by its acronym ICHEIC, set out to resolve the thousands of claims of Holocaust survivors whose insurance policies were not honored. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.According to its latest statistical report, ICHEIC has paid more than $300 million on 48,263 claims. Some $200 million more was spent on humanitarian projects benefiting needy survivors and Holocaust education projects.Like other Holocaust restitution efforts, ICHEIC has come under severe criticism for shrouding its proceedings in secrecy and failing to convince European insurers to fully open their archives for scrutiny, and in winning compensation adding up to only a small fraction of total estimates of unpaid claims. ICHEIC defenders reply that given the lack of supporting documentation, the commission disbursed more money than survivors could have even have won in court.