Holocaust Survivors To Picket Champions Tour Event
By Kickntrue on 2/8/11
A group of Holocaust survivors will picket the Allianz Championship this week- because of the sponsor's history supporting the third reich. This is amazingly fascinating. First, the facts:
Their argument is stark: If Allianz can afford to sponsor high-profile sports events, why can't it also pay off the estimated $2 billion in life insurance policies still owed to needy Holocaust survivors, 65 years after World War II?

Survivors say that Allianz first denied claims after World War II and only opened its coffers under pressure in the mid-1990s.

"Is any amount of money going to alleviate the pain?" said Allianz spokeswoman Sabia Schwartzer . "We've never denied any of the allegations. What else should we be doing?"

Highly placed Allianz executives were early financial supporters of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. One Allianz official was part of Hitler's government, at the same time that Allianz insured people and institutions of the Nazi government.

And, in what might be considered the ultimate conflict of interest, Allianz sold thousands of life insurance policies to Jews during the 1930s and 1940s, while at the same time insured death camps where 6 million Jews were exterminated.

After the war, when survivors attempted to file claims on their life insurance policies, Allianz refused them for lack of documentation, though it was a well-known policy of the Nazis to destroy documents of death-camp prisoners and rarely to issue death certificates for those who died in the camps.

Allianz does not dispute the facts.
Sorry- that was a lot of copying/pasting- but I think it was all pretty important to the story. I think it's pretty easy to become outraged against Allianz here- what they did was clearly HORRIBLE, but they admit that. 80 years later- they're still dealing with a PR nightmare, maybe even moreso now- in the age of 24/7 news, but also true is the fact that nobody connected with the company currently had anything to do with the heinous acts of the company. I guess the company could pay the owed money out- but where would it go? Most of the people the money would be owed to and sadly their families are no longer living.

I don't think Allianz should get a "pass." I think they are okay in continuing to build their company and trying to be a global brand- but part of being Allianz will be always be dealing with their past. When you come on as a new hire- you'll need to know that's just something you're dealing with.

Pretty crazy stuff- and easy to see both sides of the argument. I certainly don't fault these individuals who want to make their viewpoint known this week.

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[ comments ]
Kurt the Knife says:
The machinations of genocide are frightening. I recommend folks watch the documentary "Shoah". The industry of extermination was ghastly.From railroad's terms of carriage for jews in boxcars right down to Mercedes Benz modifying lorries (hose extensions to exhaust pipes and floor drains)to expedite gassing and post-mortem clean-up in payload compartments of some vehicles purchased by the German government.
Sadly, this is not a surprise to learn of other profiteers in the denial of what surrounded them.
Banker85 says:
ya they should change their name and donate a huge amountof $$$ to a holocaust charity or something along those lines. But since they know and accept the fact of the awful things the company did almost 70 years ago there is no way they should be let off the hook.
birdieXris says:
"Where my money? huh? Where is it? You got money for fake mustaches eh? Really sick of you dodging me, man."
birdieXris says:
Honestly, this is really stretching it. People will protest anything because they can. They're gonna make some money because of this as well as from sponsoring the golf tournament. It's a form of advertising, albeit a more expensive form, but they get return $$ from it. Are the protestors going to protest every yellow page ad they take out? how about every commercial? That's money spent that could be going to the victims. Employee bonuses? Should they go to the offices and cut the fat on the payroll? they don't need a cleaning service, the employees can take care of that. That's money that can go get paid out.

The holocaust was a horrible horrible thing. It was. No denying that, but really like was said - 1. who's alive to get the money? 2. War is hell. Insurance companies probably won't pay you if it breaks out. I don't have life insurance, but i'ms ure there's a clause somewhere.

Still sad for the families in the first place though.
stedar says:
Terrible things happen in war - the holocaust, the bomb on Japan. A lot of innocent people die.
I think we need to remember our past, but not live in it.
9-11 is so close in the relativity of time, but we need to know our true enemy and deal with them - not the innocent.
Such a tough argument on both sides, an emotional one. There can not be a right or wrong answer, only a just one - move on and live today, for no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
Let those that died in the past serve as a reminder of what we as a race are truly capable of and let us move forward to provide a safer place for our children, and their children; to grow and develop.
To hold a company accountable for what its people did 80 years ago when in context so many other companies and people would be cast under that cloak - where do you draw the line. You can not. Live, learn and move on.
Birdwell49 says:
I don't believe that there is any statute of limitation on accesory to muder, and that is pretty much what this is. The company has shirked its contractual obligation long enough. It's simple, they owe claims dollars to the survivor's families. It there are no survivors then I'm sure a court could easily decide how those monies are distributed.
This is not ancient history, it was only 66 years ago.
C-4 says:
Dont worry they will pay in the end. anyone who was involved, in support, and those who reconize it and had the oppotunity to make it right and didnt....God has the last say....the only thing that sucks is we may or may not get a chance to see it....i can see them now at the pearly gates...line them up about 10 feet from the tee box and let all of the holocaust victims tee off...they can line up right next to the worldcom and mortgage big wigs
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