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Vol. 17  No. 21 Final Edition
Clovis Free Press

September 8, 2000

Nazi Holocaust Case Update
42,000 Clients and Counting

By Howard Hobbs Ph.D., Valley Press Media Network

     NEW YORK -- The Bulldog Newspaper at Fresno State University has been credited for breaking the story over two years ago that a Belgium woman had filed a law suit against Ford Motor Company and its German affiliate Ford Werke A.G. in Cologne, Germany for being forced to work as a slave laborer at during World War II.
     That woman wa the frist person to sue to obtain reasonable payment for Nazi slave-labor performed during the holocaust. She and asked the court to order Ford the give-up unfair profitsfrom use of slaves to produce Fords for Hitler's Nazi war machine.
     The case, filed on March 4, 1998 in a US federal court in Newark, together with thousands of related claims that followed, is now close to settling.
     At issue are demands that the company turn over all profits derived from slave labour to the labourers involved. The claimants allege that Ford's senior US executives were aware of the practice, which began in 1941.
     Edward D. Fagan is the New York City attorney who repesents 42,000 other Nazi holocaust servivors or their relatives accusing Swiss banks of stealing money 50 years ago from those who died in the Holocaust. He is a Cardozo Law School (New York) 1980 graduate.
Mr. Fagan has filed lawsuits against banks, insurers and other companies in Austria, Germany and elsewhere, charging that they too profited from Nazi ties or exploited victims. Settlements of actions against Swiss banks and German industry worth over $6.2 billion were recently approved.
     Last week, Mr. Fagan was in Berlin,Vienna, and Warsaw on behalf of tens of thousands of people whom he and lawyers associated with him represent.
     In July, Mr. Fagan arrived in Berlin as part of a victory lap in two of the most significant cases. To settle slave-labor claims against German industry, the government and companies there had approved a $5 billion fund to compensate Nazi-era survivors.Under the German plan, two arbitrators are to decide how to award legal fees. Mr. Fagan said that the arbitrators had up to $75 million to award. He is seeking $4 million in legal fees in the Swiss banks case.
     Recently Fagan sued Japanese companies charging them with using thousands of Asians and others as forced labor during World War II. Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand and the Philippines in a bid to sign up thousands of people who claimed they had been used as forced laborers, including former American and Allied prisoners of war.
      Last month, when word leaked out that Mr. Fagan was working with new clients who are victims of Japanese wartime aggression, public demonstrations of support were sparked in Seoul, South Korea.

    [Editor's Note: The original Nazi Holocaust law suit breaking news story is still available online at BulldogNews.net. During the Nazi Party authoritarian regime in Germany from the early 1930's thru World War II approximately 8 million people in the German Reich and in the areas occupied by Germany were subjected to forced labor. In many cases those persecuted were robbed of their property. Former forced laborers can now apply for compensation with one of two international organizations handling their claims on behalf of the German foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future." The law setting up the foundation entered into force on Saturday, Aug. 12, after having been passed by an overwhelming majority of the German parliament in July. Applicants holding American citizenship should send their application and documentation either to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), for non-Jewish applicants, or to the Jewish Claims Conference (JCC). Both organizations have dedicated websites to be found at www.iom.int and www.claimscon.org, respectively. Applications will be accepted for a time period of eight months in most cases including those filed with the JCC, twelve months for applications with the IOM. Both organizations have declared their willingness to help applicants assemble the required documents as sufficient documentation must accompany all applications. German Companies will support these efforts by providing information directly to the IOM and the JCC.The addresses for the IOM and the JCC offices to be used by U.S. residents are, respectively: International Organization for Migration1752 N Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20036-2906 - Ph: (202) 862-1826, ext. 228 - Fax: (202) 862-1879 | Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany 15, East 26th Street | NewYork, NY 10010 - Ph: (212) 696-4944 - Fax: (212) 697-2126].


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