Shoah survivors protest against Boca Raton golf tournament

Holocaust survivors are set to picket a golf tournament in Florida sponsored by the German insurance company Allianz, which the protestors claim still owes an estimated US$ 2 billion in unpaid claims to survivors. They plan to block the Boca Raton course of the US$ 1.8 million Allianz Championship and to return on the final day of the tournament. This is the fifth time the event is held in Boca Raton, but the first a protest has been planned, according to the ‘Orlando Sun-Sentinel’ newspaper. Holocaust survivors have filed lawsuits against Allianz in an effort to reclaim insurance payments on thousands of life insurance policies that the company sold to Jews in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. Survivors who attempted to file claims with Allianz after World War II were refused due to a lack of documentation.

Sabia Schwarzer, a spokeswoman for Allianz, said the company participated in the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, which had granted US$ 250 million to 14,000 insurance policyholders and made "humanitarian payments" of US$34 million to policyholders who were denied claims. Allianz reportedly paid about US$ 12 million of the total amount paid by German and other insurance companies.

Miami lawyer Samuel J. Dubbin, who represents survivor organizations, said the  company had sold "tens of thousands of insurance policies to Jewish people and took advantage of the Holocaust to deny payment to its customers using that money to become one of the biggest corporations and largest insurance companies in the world. Instead of honoring its legal and moral obligations to its customers, the company is spending [money] on public relations such as this golf tournament.”

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