Judah Gribetz

Holbrooke’s Swiss Bank Diplomacy

12/21/2010
Staff Writer

By most accounts, Edgar Bronfman, the Seagrams heir and former head of the World Jewish Congress, was the hero of the historic Swiss bank deal. He is widely credited with launching the initiative that eventually led Swiss banks to agree to a $1.25 billion settlement to resolve claims that they hoarded bank accounts opened by Jews who were murdered by the Nazis.

But with the death of Richard Holbrooke last week has come fresh details of the U.S. diplomat’s pivotal and secret efforts in 1996 to convince Swiss banks to take the steps that led to that settlement.

Richard Holbrooke played critical behind-the-scenes role in Swiss deal, says Elan Steinberg.
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