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|LOS ANGELES– Today, on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is releasing the following statement regarding its investigation into Credit Suisse AG and certain Nazi assets, and the related bipartisan investigation and press release of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget:
Several years ago, SWC began a confidential global investigation led by Stein Mitchell Beato & Missner LLP into Nazi and Nazi affiliated assets and accounts (“Nazi Assets”) that certain foreign banks maintained well after the end of the Second World War. The investigation is an outgrowth of SWC’s historic human rights mission to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to future generations—a solemn commitment we made to our namesake, the late Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. It is the core of our mandate, and on this we will neither rest nor be silenced.
Beginning in March 2020, we invited Credit Suisse AG to review our findings related to the Nazi Assets investigation. In response, the bank made a commitment to investigate and confront this hidden and troubling past. As a critical part of that commitment, Credit Suisse AG hired an Independent Ombudsperson and an Independent Advisor possessing extensive credentials and the highest integrity to assure the accuracy, transparency, and independence of this historically significant investigation. The investigative plan was approved and executed by the most senior executives of Credit Suisse AG and relied upon by SWC.
At the request of the bank, SWC worked with the Independent Ombudsperson team to communicate all relevant facts and information relating to the Nazi Assets. However, after more than one year working with SWC and significant progress, the Independent Ombudsperson and Independent Advisor were removed by Credit Suisse AG. This decision eroded SWC's confidence in a fair, independent, and transparent historical review, especially if the remaining work is completed by any entity with significant ties to Credit Suisse AG.
SWC is in the process of reviewing the report of the Independent Ombudsman in whom SWC and Credit Suisse AG reposed trust to find and report historical truth. The actions taken today by the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget shine light on a dark and troubling past that has remained outside the historical record. SWC is grateful for the decision of the Members of the Committee to inform the public of this history. We wish to especially thank Chairman Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ranking Member Grassley (R-IA) whose bipartisan leadership offers hope for full and final accountability from all who supported the Nazi regime during and after the Second World War.
Anyone with additional information about Nazi and/or Nazi affiliated assets can contact: SWC@steinmitchell.com.