Leading figure in Swiss Jewish community dies

June 29, 2010 16:52


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Alfred Donath, a Jewish activist who helped Holocaust victims and their heirs recover money from Swiss banks, has died. He was 78.

The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, which Donath once led, says he died suddenly at a hospital Monday night. The cause of death was not given.

Donath was the federation's vice president when Swiss banks in 1998 reached an out-of-court settlement to pay Holocaust victims and their heirs $1.25 billion.

The banks had allegedly stonewalled many heirs of victims trying to recover deposits made by European Jews before they were killed in concentration camps.

Donath led the federation from 2000 to 2008.

Herbert Winter, its current leader, says the funeral will probably take place Tuesday.

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