Copyright: McClatchy Newspapers
Source: Knight Ridder Washington Bureau (KRT)

WASHINGTON _ Remembering family members who were lost to the gas chambers of Nazi Germany, aging survivors of the Holocaust went before Congress on Thursday to ask for their day in court.

They want to force the handful of international insurers who sold life insurance policies to Jewish families before World War II to open their books on the hundreds of thousands of policyholders. They also want the opportunity to take those companies to court, describing futile paper chases to collect on the life insurance policies that their parents had maintained faithfully before Nazi troops ordered them out of their homes.

“It isn’t asking for very much, really,” said Israel Arbeiter, who survived four years of German concentration camps but whose parents and younger brother perished at the Treblinka camp. “There should be no legal peace for companies without moral peace for the survivors.”