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SUIT COULD SLOW HOLOCAUST INQUIRY

A class-action suit that seeks to recover assets of Holocaust victims held by Swiss banks could hamper investigations by an independent committee, the commission's head, Paul Volcker, said in a letter filed in federal court, the New York Times reported Saturday.

In the letter, Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said he was afraid Swiss bankers and other sources might stop cooperating with the commission if the lawsuit resulted in U.S. legal orders to disclose documents and sources, the Times reported.

The Times also reported Saturday that the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland Madeleine Kunin found her mother's name on a list of nearly 1,800 dormant World War II accounts released by Swiss bankers. The May family, which was Jewish, fled Switzerland when Ms. Kunin was 7, fearing a Nazi invasion.

When Ms. Kunin returned to Switzerland last summer as ambassador, she pressured reluctant Swiss bankers to make public a list of dormant accounts to help heirs of war victims recover the money.

In the published lists, owners or heirs were urged to come forward and file claims that will be decided by arbitrators. The 1,800 accounts hold a total of $40.2 million.

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