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International Commission Holds First Hearing
- Agrees Unanimously to Ask Eagleberger to Serve as Chairman -

New York, October 21, 1998

In the first official act of the International Commission, the members today unanimously agreed to ask former Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger to serve as its Chairman. The 13-member Commission is charged with resolving all unpaid insurance claims of Holocaust victims.

The newly-formed Commission, which held its first meeting today in New York City, is comprised of representatives of the State of Israel, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), the Conference of Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, United States Insurance Commissioners, European Insurance Supervisory authorities, and the six European insurance companies – Allianz AG, Axa, Generali, Zurich, Basler Leben, and Winterthur Leben – that signed the historic Memorandum of Understanding.

To get the unresolved claims paid as soon as possible, the Commission will establish a uniform procedure for investigating the status of the insurance policies and will work to resolve all of the claims within two years. Payments to survivors and their heirs will be made throughout the Commission’s two-year investigation.

The representatives of the State of Israel and international Jewish organizations are Bobby Brown, State of Israel, Roman Kent, WJRO, American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and Moshe Sanbar, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Center of Holocaust Survivor Organizations in Israel. Rabbi Israel Singer, Elan Steinberg, and Zvi Ramot of the WJRO and Gideon Taylor of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany will assume an observer/alternate status within the Commission. U.S. Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat and a representative of the European Economic Commission will participate as observers.

The representatives of the U.S. Insurance Commissioners are Neil D. Levin, New York State Insurance Superintendent, Bill Nelson, Florida Insurance Commissioner, and Chuck Quackenbush, California Insurance Commissioner. Diane Koken, Pennsylvania State Insurance Commissioner, and Glenn Pomeroy, President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and North Dakota State Insurance Commissioner, will serve as alternates.

The six representatives of the European insurance companies and insurance regulators are: Herbert Hansmeyer of Allianz AG, Rolf Huppi of Zurich, Giovanni Perissinotto of Generali, Jean-Paul Saillard of Axa, Giovanni Manghetti of the Italian Insurance Supervisory Authority and Rudolph Gerlach of the German Insurance Supervisory Authority. Bruno Dallo of Basler Leben and Ulrich Thalmann of Winterthur Leben will serve as alternate members on behalf of the insurance companies.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Eagleburger was asked to serve as the 13th member and Chairman of the Commission. A career diplomat, Eagleburger has served in the United States Foreign Service since 1957. From 1977 until 1981, he was Ambassador to Yugoslavia. After holding several positions at the State Department in Washington, D.C., Eagleburger was named Secretary of State in 1992 under President George Bush.


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