Welcome to Living Heirs Welcome to Living Heirs

Below is a database of Holocaust-era Jewish names. If you recognize the name of a relative, you or someone in your family may be an heir to unclaimed Holocaust-era assets.

The database comes from two sources. One is the list of unclaimed Swiss bank accounts released by the Swiss government. They are identified with a Code of "S". These names usually include the city and country where the account was opened.

The second list comes from a collection at the Austrian State Archives in Vienna. They are identified with a Code of "A". The Austrian files include ALL assets, including possible Swiss bank accounts, as well as insurance policies and other holdings. When the Germans occupied Vienna in 1938, they required all Jewish residents to complete a detailed declaration of valuables, including bank accounts, insurance policies, real estate, art, etc. These declarations are the files held in the archives in Vienna. Our source provides only given name, family name and date of birth.

Swiss Banks
As the German government confiscated assets from Jews in many countries, they deposited some of the proceeds in Swiss banks. Consequently, almost any Jew (or their heirs) who lost assets or suffered during World War II may have a claim to the $1.25 billion compensation fund established by the Swiss banks. The deadline for filing preliminary claims was October 22, 1999 but there may be additional opportunities for filing in the future. On November 22, 1999, a "fairness hearing" will be held in U.S. federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to determine if this suit may proceed. If it is permitted, then further details will be announced. As soon more information is known, Living Heirs will post it on this page.

Potential categories of claims include:
  1. Those with Swiss bank accounts
  2. Individuals who had valuables that the Germans looted or removed during World War II--in any country
  3. Those forced into slave labor
  4. Those who fled the Germans but were turned away at the Swiss border or mistreated after entering Switzerland
For details on how to register a claim. go to http://www.swissbankclaims.com. There are toll-free phone numbers in four countries, if you wish to discuss the matter with someone. In the United States, call 1-888-635-5483; in Australia, 1-800-554-370; in South Africa, 0-800-992-765; and in United Kingdom, 0-800-917-4424. Download the 22 pages of claim instructions or ask that they be sent to you. The claim form and mailing address is included.

Austrian Archives
Those with Austrian files should also fill out the Swiss bank registration. Until files are retrieved from the Austrian archives and examined, there is no way to know if a Swiss bank account was part of the holdings. Even those without Swiss bank accounts may be eligible for compensation under one of the other categories.

At this time, the only two mechanisms for retrieving assets for individuals in this database are the two class action lawsuits, one against the Swiss banks, the other against the Austrian banks. We anticipate, however, that the international commission on unpaid, Holocaust-era insurance claims, headed by former U.S. Secretary of State, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, will announce a process for dealing these claims later this fall. In preparation for such an announcement, those who find family members listed on this database (other than the Swiss bank names marked "S"), should take steps now to retrieve the relevant files.

Sample Entry
Surname, Given Name            Birth Date             Code   Town, Country
Haag, Marie Albertine 24.09.1914 S Ingwiller, France
Click appropriate letter to retrieve the portion of the database containing surnames which begin with the letter shown.

A Ba Bl C D E F G H I J Ka Ko L M N O P Q R Sa Sh T U V W X Y Z

If you find a name that matches the first name, last name of your relative, and can identify a matching birthdate, you have located your relative on the index. Click on the name to obtain your family's asset registry. If you find a name, in addition to getting your family asset registry, be sure to get information about claims against Austrian banks.

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Additional Links
Click here for help from Avotaynu if you have questions that can be answered by e-mail.

Click here for help from Risk International if a relative lived in Vienna in 1938 and you cannot identify the relative by name and birth date.

Click here for Czech property confiscation list prepared by the Czech Republic government. When you get to the site, click "Phenomenon Holocaust Project," then click "Property Confiscation List."

Click here for information about claims against Austrian banks.

Click here for accounts frozen in the UK under World War II legislation.

Click here for information on how to locate documentation about the fate of Holocaust victims or locate survivors.

Getting started tracing your Jewish family history? Avotaynu has a five-minute guide to Jewish genealogy research.

Click here to learn more about Avotaynu's role in this project.

Eagleburger Commissdion
The International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) also known as the "Eagleburger Commission," was established in October of 1998 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in cooperation with several European insurance companies, European regulators, representatives of several Jewish organizations, and the State of Israel. The Commission is charged with establishing a just process that will expeditiously address the issue of unpaid insurance policies issued to victims of the Holocaust. It now has an Internet site at http://www.icheic.org/.

Avotaynu Home Page

Avotaynu would like to thank the following persons who participated in computerizing these lists: Especially Michael Radel of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Philadelphia who coordinated the volunteer effort and developed the database. Also Robert Wascou, president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento. Also members of the Tiferet Bet Israel Men's Club of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania; Ginny Atkins, Ormond Beach, Florida; Bernie Buckwalter, San Luis Obispo Genealogical Society; Bob Factor, Newtown, Pennsylvania; Barbara Parsons, Crossville, Tennessee; Carol Rapaport, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Jacob Slabiak of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento; and Dottie Woods of the Sacramento Genealogical Society.

Web Author: Michael Tobias