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Judaica

SWISS BANKS MIGHT BE PROBED FOR LOST JEWISH-OWNED WORKS OF ART

Swiss banks, which have been under fire for holding unclaimed Jewish-owned accounts since 1945, also face the prospect of being asked to prove that they do not hold lost works of art.

After disclosing the names of 1872 holders of dormant bank accounts following strong international pressure, Swiss banks have finally admitted that they were still holding at least US $ 60 millions deposited by Jewish people from all over Europe before 1940.

However, this short list - another one with some 20,000 names is expected to be released soon- has been the subject of a serious controversy since only les than 20% among the 1872 listed are believed to be Jewish.

All the more, the names of many Nazi officials and of their accomplices in Europe are included in this list and it is suspected that huge sums of money stolen from Jewish families by these criminals were eventually deposited in Swiss banks during World War Two.

Another question remains to be answered concerning works of art possibly deposited in Swiss banks by certain Jewish families as it is known that Switzerland has been been the best place for the protection of collections.

One day or another, Swiss banks will have to state whether unclaimed works of art have been laying dormant in their safes. If this were the case the world might eventually learn that some stolen masterpieces were hidden in certain banks by Nazi dignitaries.

7/23
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