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Slave Labor Class I

Please note that the deadline to file a Slave Labor Class I claim has expired.
For distribution data concerning Slave Labor Class I, please click here.
Slave Labor Class I consists of those claimants who performed slave labor for German and other companies which may have transacted their profits through Swiss entities. For more information on Slave Labor Class I, please read Annex H of the Distribution Plan .
Studying the research of the leading scholars and based upon other sources, the Special Master concluded that the Nazi regime had exploited the slave labor of hundreds of thousands of Victims or Targets of Nazi Persecution in every corner of its realm. In addition, the Special Master analyzed the International Tracing Service’s Catalogue of Camps and Prisons in Germany and Germany-Occupied Territories, Sept. 1, 1939-May 8, 1945 which also contains names of German entities that used slave labor, and compared the Catalogue to the Volcker Commission’s list of German persons or entities that had a Swiss bank account at the time of Switzerland’s February 16, 1945 asset freeze. This analysis demonstrated that virtually all of the most notorious slave labor-using entities maintained banking ties in Switzerland or owned other assets in Switzerland, and supported the presumption that “virtually all German companies that employed slave labor also ‘deposited’ or ‘transacted’ the revenues or proceeds of this labor in Switzerland” as set forth in the Court’s order granting approval of the Settlement Agreement.
Therefore, all Victims or Targets of Nazi Persecution who performed slave labor for private entities, entities owned or controlled by the state or Nazi authorities, or by the concentration camp and ghetto authorities, were deemed members of Slave Labor Class I. This Court-adopted presumption helped to streamline the distribution process by enabling the Court to utilize the same administrative agents, and adhere closely to the procedures, utilized by contemporaneous slave and forced labor compensation programs involving Germany and Austria: in Germany, the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (“German Foundation”), and in Austria, the “Austrian Reconciliation Fund” (“Austrian Foundation”). The Swiss Banks Holocaust Settlement’s Slave Labor Class I payments supplemented the additional awards authorized under the German Foundation and Austrian Reconciliation Foundation slave and forced labor compensation programs.
The Swiss Banks Holocaust Settlement Distribution Plan originally provided for payments of $1,000 each (subsequently increased to $1,450) to surviving slave laborers, or to their heirs if the former slave laborer died on or after February 16, 1999.
Under the Distribution Plan, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) reviewed claims submitted by Jewish Nazi victims, while the review process for Roma, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexual and disabled Nazi victims was conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Each organization submitted their recommendations for review and approval by the Special Masters and then the Court.
As the Distribution Statistics indicate, more than 198,000 surviving former slave laborers and certain of their heirs have received more than $280 million in payments from the Settlement Fund. This includes more than $249 million for nearly 174,000 Jewish victims. Nearly 98% of these individuals also were approved for additional compensation through the slave and forced laborer compensation programs operated by the German and Austrian Foundations. For a sample of the Holocaust-era experiences of some of these 174,000 Jewish slave laborers, brief summaries of their claims can be accessed here.
In addition, nearly $31 million was distributed to more than 24,000 Roma, Jehovah’s Witness, homosexual and disabled former slave laborers. For a sample of the Holocaust-era experiences of some of these 24,000 slave laborers, brief summaries of their claims can be accessed here.