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Letter from the Chairman

The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) has completed its mission to identify, settle, and pay individual Holocaust era insurance claims at no cost to claimants.

ICHEIC, working together with 75 European insurance companies and partner entities throughout Europe, has resolved more than 90,000 claims. Through the Commission's work, a total of $306 million was awarded to more than 48,000 Holocaust survivors, their heirs, and the families of those who did not survive. More than half of this amount was awarded on policies located as a result of ICHEIC's archival research (which matched Holocaust survivors and heirs to policy information) or through the Commission's humanitarian claims processes. ICHEIC also committed more than $169 million in additional funding for humanitarian programs, such as social welfare benefits for Holocaust survivors worldwide.

ICHEIC was established in 1998 following negotiations among European insurance companies and U.S. insurance regulators, as well as representatives of international Jewish and survivor organizations and the State of Israel. The resulting Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") created ICHEIC.

Through the MOU, ICHEIC was charged with establishing a just process to collect and facilitate the signatory companies' processing of insurance claims from the Holocaust period. Individuals negotiating on behalf of the companies and those negotiating on behalf of Holocaust survivors and heirs (U.S. insurance regulators from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and international Jewish and survivor organizations) became either ICHEIC Commissioners, Alternates, or Observers. All had a voice in the organization. Signatory companies agreed to process claims according to ICHEIC guidelines, which were negotiated and established by consensus among the ICHEIC membership.

ICHEIC was the first organization ever to offer Holocaust survivors and their heirs, and the families of those who did not survive, an avenue to pursue a claim against an insurance company at no cost. The Commission was created as a means of addressing the gaps and shortfalls of postwar compensation programs of the 1950s and 1960s and provided an opportunity for thousands to submit claims for the first time.

Chairman Lawrence Eagleburger announced the successful completion of the Commission's claims and appeals processes in March 2007, and the Commission closed its doors shortly thereafter. This website will be maintained by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in recognition of the historical value of the Commission's work. For a comprehensive description of how ICHEIC was created and how it carried out its mandate, we encourage you to read the Commission's legacy document entitled "Finding Claimants and Paying Them: The Creation and Workings of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims", which was published in June 2007.




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