Holocaust Survivors To Protest Obama/Nelson

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – A group of Jewish Holocaust survivors will be staging a rally at 3 pm Friday outside the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami Beach to chastise President Barack Obama and Sen. Bill Nelson.

Obama and Nelson are attending two fund-raising events there, and the protesters, who were children during World War II, are holding the politician’s feet to the fire over what they say are broken promises.

The group’s gripe is in their quest to sue overseas insurance companies for unpaid insurance policies held by Holocaust survivors. They want the right to sue those companies in American courts, and need federal approval to do so – something Nelson had promised but has not come through on.

This will the the third protest following two others recently held in Boca Raton against insurance companies such as Allianz AG, Generali and others that owe billions of dollars  to survivors. This one, though, will be at the ritzy Fountainbleau.

CBS4 news partner reports that survivors claim that three years ago Sen. Nelson promised them that he would file legislation to allow them to sue European insurers that sold their families millions of dollars in life insurance policies before World War II.

And Obama also gave his support, they say, during the 2008 presidential campaign. But the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have rejected the survivors’ bids to sue the insurers, backing up the Obama administration, Justice Department and foreign companies that say an international Holocaust claims commission formed in 1998 was the only way to resolve survivors insurance policy disputes.

Last month, the survivors group held a protest at a Boca Raton professional golf tournament sponsored by Allianz, which garnered international media attention.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)


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