In recognition of Holocaust Education Week, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis highlighted the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Holocaust Victims Assistance Program, which provides assistance to Florida Holocaust survivors seeking to recover proceeds from insurance policies issued to Holocaust victims and restitution for Nazi-confiscated bank accounts, art and property.
Holocaust Education Week is observed during the second week in November, which corresponds with the anniversary of Kristallnacht, a defining moment in the discrimination and persecution of Jewish families by the Nazis.
“Holocaust Education Week is an important time to recognize the victims of the holocaust, support the survivors and reaffirm Florida’s commitment to teach our students about the atrocities committed and to make sure we never forget the evils of the Holocaust. We must do all we can to reunite survivors and their heirs with items that were stolen from them. Last year, we assisted survivors and their families with securing more than $14 million, and I remain committed to ensuring that these claims are resolved, and property is recovered. Florida is proud to be home to the second-largest Jewish population in the world, and as CFO, I’m proud to support Florida’s Jewish community,” Patronis said.
Since 1998, DFS’ Division of Consumer Services has worked to reunite Florida Holocaust survivors seeking to recover stolen assets, such as confiscated bank accounts, art and property, determined by the Holocaust Victims Assistance Act. Since its inception, the total monetary recoveries and assistance recovered through the Holocaust Victims Assistance Program is more than $77 million.
Although many of the deadlines have passed for submitting claims to compensation programs, it may be possible to submit a claim directly with the financial institution or with remaining open restitution funds. The Florida Department of Financial Services provides education and assistance to Holocaust survivors and their heirs regarding restitution programs from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, France, Austria, Hungary and other countries. Information and assistance is also provided to individuals seeking access to much-needed home health care services.
Anyone who needs assistance with filing a Holocaust-era financial claim or assistance in obtaining social welfare services can contact the Holocaust Victims Assistance Helpline by phone at (800) 388-4069 or via email at HolocaustAssistance@MyFloridaCFO.com.
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