Imperial War Museum hunts for Holocaust victim's family

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The Independent Online

Death camp records are to be scoured by Holocaust researchers at the Imperial War Museum for a Jewish brush salesman from Bratislava.

Death camp records are to be scoured by Holocaust researchers at the Imperial War Museum for a Jewish brush salesman from Bratislava.

They are attempting to close a shameful chapter in Britain's wartime measures against the Nazis. After war was declared against Germany, the British government confiscated all assets owned by residents of enemy countries. These included the property sent to British banks for safe keeping by Jews who were being persecuted by the Nazis.

Last month, Patricia Hewitt, the Trade and Industry Secretary, announced the winding up of the government scheme to compensate the families whose property was seized as part of Britain's wartime measures against Hitler.

Since it was set up in 1997, the scheme has dealt with 220,000 assets and paid out more than £16m in compensation.

Only two pieces of jewellery were left to be returned to their owner - a diamond tie-pin and a gilt bracelet. They were found in a London bank deposit box, which was confiscated during the war and belonged to Marck Kellermann, a brush salesman.

Despite the best efforts of the Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel headed by Lord Archer of Sandwell, which decided on compensation claims, the items remained unclaimed.

More than 1,250,000 people have visited the Holocaust display at the Imperial War Museum and items sent by the brush salesman from Bratislava for safe keeping in this country will be put on display this autumn, until Mr Kellermann's heirs are found.

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