Holocaust Survivors Again Seek Insurance Claims
WASHINGTON — Sixty-six years after she survived the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Renee Firestone is still trying to find out what became of an insurance policy that she suspects her father, who died in the Holocaust, took out from an Italian insurer before the war.
Ms. Firestone, 87, a naturalized American citizen from the former Czechoslovakia who became a fashion designer in Los Angeles, expected resistance from the insurance companies that fielded claims from many thousands of Holocaust survivors and their heirs. What she did not foresee, she said, was the opposition from her own government — including the State Department and Congress — to her getting her day in court.
“What’s so painful is that we can see they’re just waiting for all of us to die,” she said.
The legal claims by hundreds of American survivors like Ms. Firestone have set off an intense lobbying campaign in Washington on their behalf. But opposition from the government and even from leading Jewish groups has created an uncomfortable rift between groups that are normally in alliance and has created a potential minefield for President Obama....
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