Two Israelis are preparing to file a NIS 1 billion lawsuit against the Swiss government and two Swiss banks for allegedly refusing to return money and valuables deposited by their parents shortly before World War II.
The plaintiffs say they intend to file the lawsuit next week in U.S. court, under a U.S. law enabling them to sue foreign states in matters pertaining to the Holocaust.
“We tried to negotiate with the banks and with Switzerland, but they lied to us and cheated us,” says M. Katz, one of the plaintiffs. “We now understand they never intended to return the property deposited with them by the Holocaust victims.”
Katz – a 59-year-old resident of Modi’in – says he intends to sue the Union Bank of Switzerland, Credit Suisse and the Swiss government for $185 million. He claims the banks have systematically concealed documents related to his mother’s accounts in order to prevent him from getting his money.
Katz’s co-plaintiff, S. (alias), is claiming $130 million, which he says was stolen from him under similar circumstances.
The two claims amount to a total of NIS 1.183 billion.