Sgs And Holocaust Cash

I object to the way the name of SGS Societe Generale de Surveillance was mentioned in "More evidence of hidden Holocaust cash" (Finance, May 6). You lead readers to suspect that SGS would retain assets of Holocaust victims. The 182 accounts mentioned in your article do not relate to "hidden Holocaust cash" but to funds mostly arising from business transactions which were kept by SGS during the war. These funds were returned to their beneficial owners as far as we can ascertain from files still available from that time. Indeed, these names were disclosed on a confidential basis to the U.S. authorities by the company itself in order to help them trace Nazi assets in Switzerland in the context of "Operation Safehaven." The Office of Strategic Services report dated July, 1945, describes our company as being "very cooperative" in this context.

The company at the time was run by my grandfather, Jacques Salmanowitz. Born in Latvia to a Jewish family, he gave immense and continuous support and help to friends and business acquaintances whose lives and assets were threatened by the Nazis in occupied Europe. We are proud of our war record and of the relentless help given by Jacques Salmanowitz to those who were under threat of Nazi persecutions.

Elisabeth Salina Amorini

Chairman

SGS

Geneva

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