County Commission backs Holocaust survivors’ fight against Nazi-era insurers

Chairman Bovo shakes hands with Holocaust survivors and their heirs at the May 1 Commission meeting. From left are Wendy Rothfield, Magda Bader, Vera Karliner, Herbert Karliner and David Mermelstein, along with their attorney Samuel Dubbin.
(Photos by Ryan Holloway / Miami-Dade County)

The Miami-Dade County Commission on May 1 approved a resolution sponsored by Commission Chairman Esteban Bovo Jr. urging Congress to approve pending legislation allowing Holocaust survivors to sue Nazi-era insurers in U.S. courts to force them to honor life insurance policies sold to Holocaust victims before their deaths.

“While we can never fully right the wrongs of the Holocaust, we must never stop pursuing justice whenever and wherever we can,” Chairman Bovo said.

Several Holocaust survivors and heirs of Holocaust victims who reside in Miami-Dade County spoke before the Commission. David Mermelstein, Herbert and Vera Karliner, Magda Bader, and Wendy Rothfield shared their stories and recounted their decades-long struggles to compel insurers to pay the benefits they say they are entitled to.

“This is not just a bipartisan issue but a humanitarian issue,” Commissioner Heyman said.

Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, far left, and Chairman Bovo, rear, with Holocaust survivors and heirs Magda Bader, Vera and Herbert Karliner, Wendy Rothfield and David Mermelstein, along with their attorneys.

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