British Jews appeal to Swiss for justice over Nazi gold

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The Independent Online
British Jews yesterday appealed to Swiss business leaders to do all in their power to ensure that truth, justice and solidarity emerge in the inquiry into looted Nazi gold.

Greville Janner, Labour MP and chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, told a meeting of the British-Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Zurich that the 1946 post-war gold agreement must be renegotiated. An estimated pounds 3bn, at today's prices, of looted gold from Nazi Germany was paid into Swiss banks during the Second World War. But under the Washington Agreement with Britain, the United States and France, Switzerland paid back less than half the total gold assets held.

"I hope that in the interests of solidarity and justice, the Swiss government will agree to that renegotiation," Mr Janner said.

Switzerland, which has suffered a powerful international backlash, has bowed to pressure and announced plans for a commission of experts to investigate the country's wartime dealings with Nazi Germany. New legislation will temporarily lift Swiss banks' secrecy laws so that the issue can be finally cleared up.

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