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Karen Heilig

Assistant Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Claims Conference

Direct Phone: (646) ***-****       

Email: k***@***.org

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Claims Conference

1359 Broadway Room 2020

New York, New York 10018

United States

Company Description

The mission of the Claims Conference over its history has always been to secure what we consider a small measure of justice for Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. We have pursued this goal since 1951 through a combination of negotiations, disbursing fund ... more

Find other employees at this company (207)

Background Information

Employment History

Member, Staff

Claims Conference

Director of International Relations and Staff Counsel

Claims Conference

Assistant Executive Vice President

Jewish Material Claims Against Germany , Inc.

Director of Special Projects and Assistant Legal Counsel


Staff Counsel


Chief Counsel and Assistant Executive Vice President




Web References (11 Total References)

AJR: Front Page Articles [cached]

Karen Heilig of the Claims Conference staff also deserves special recognition. Several other significant agreements were reached at our Jerusalem negotiations:

Colette Avital; and Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider and staff Karen Heilig, Christiane Reeh, and Konrad Matschke â€" play a significant role in convincing Germany of its moral responsibility to aid elderly Holocaust survivors.

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Panel:Karen Heilig,Director of International Relations/Staff Counsel,Claims Conference

Mama Mia — Ivan Ciment is Engaged! | Global Thoughts [cached]

Last night, from centerstage at Broadway's Winter Garden Theater, home of the show "Mama Mia," Karen Heilig accepted Ivan Ciment's proposal of marriage.

Playing on the show's signature song "Dancing Queen," Ciment asked Heilig to be his "Real Life Queen.
Heilig, thinking she was being taken out to celebrate her birthday, was utterly floored.
Heilig, of Sydney Australia, is chief counsel and assistant executive vice president of the Conference on Material Claims against Germany, an NGO.
Heilig and Ciment currently live 2 blocks apart on Manhattan's Upper West Side and met last summer via JDate, an internet dating service.
"The Americans can't locate Osama for $25 million and to think I found Karen for $19.95 on JDate - wow!", said Ciment.

Global Thoughts [cached]

Karen Heilig, the subject of a feature article in The Age newspaper, Melbourne, 1999 Global Thoughts
Karen Heilig left a career in corporate law to fight for the rights of Holocaust survivors.
Karen Heilig's paternal grandfather, a Czechoslovakian lawyer, perished in a Nazi concentration camp in the Bohemian fortress town of Thereseinstadt. Heilig now fights for justice on behalf of Holocaust survivors worldwide, including 200,000 former slave laborers. The young Australian lawyer is an important and passionate player in negotiating history-making restitution settlements with many of the world's most powerful corporations, among them Siemens, BMW, VW, Daimler Chrysler, BASF and Krupp, the Deutsche and Commerz banks, and insurance giants Axa, Generali, Allianz, Zurich and Winterthur. The German, Austrian, French, Italian and Swiss corporations involved are expected to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to atone for wartime wrongs. Heilig is the director of special projects and assistant legal counsel for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany. The Claims Conference, US, Israeli and Eastern European government representatives, and class-action lawyers are negotiating a slave labor settlement with 16 German firms. US insurance regulators, Israel and the conference are negotiating a settlement with insurers on policies brought by Holocaust victims. At issue are highly complex issues such as how to value old insurance policies and who is responsible for policies nationalized by Communist states after the war. Israel, the conference and class-action lawyers are also in negotiations with Creditstalt (Bank Austria) over its World War II "Aryanization" activities. Heilig's job entails tackling complex legal, political and moral issues in the separate sets of negotiations at frequent meetings in Bonn, Washington, Jerusalem and London. She is driven in her work, she says by the inspiration of both her deceased grandfather and father, and the proud encouragement of her remaining family. Based in New York, but more likely to be found crisscrossing the globe, Heilig spoke with Today about her role during a brief visit to Melbourne. "I really feel that we have morality and justice on our side, so it makes you more fervent, more confident in your position. It gives you that extra drive to go the extra mile, knowing that you're doing it for such important reasons. I feel honored that I have been given the responsibility and the trust to do the job." Since 1951, the Claims Conference has continuously pursued restitution for Jewish-owned properties stolen or destroyed by the Nazis. From the closure of its initial negotiations in 1952, the German government has paid $98 billion for suffering and losses under the Nazis. Raised in the Sydney suburb of Maroubra, Heilig moved to Melbourne after university to take up a job with the law firm of Mallesons Stephen Jaques. She worked next in Jerusalem with the leading Israeli law firm Herzog Fox Neeman, then relocated to New York and a foreign associate's position with a leading law firm, Skadden Arps. Through her involvement in international Jewish student politics, Heilig befriended Gideon Taylor, the son of a well-known Irish Labor MP.
Adds Heilig: "This really is the final moral chapter.

Archive of April 14, 2000 [cached]

The strongest moral argument came from the Jews , based on the slave-labor issue , said Karen Heilig , staff counsel for the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany , which was among the groups negotiating on behalf of the laborers.

This was the driving force behind all the negotiations with Germany , she added.
A series of lawsuits brought in recent years in US and German courts on behalf of Jewish slave laborers are generally credited with getting Germany to agree to the fund.Indeed , German firms had demanded that the agreement include a provision giving them protection against any future lawsuits.
Heilig said the presence of German subsidiaries on US soil , which made them the targets of possible sanctions , also played a role in getting Germany to agree to the fund.
There were several other factors , she said , pointing to the reunification of the two Germanys , recently declassified Holocaust-era documents and a $1.25 billion agreement involving Swiss banks that was reached in 1998 to settle claims surrounding Switzerland's handling of Holocaust victims' assets.
A lot of different pieces of the puzzle started coming together , said Heilig.
Compared to the Jewish effort , Eastern European countries joined the negotiations far more recently.
Although Germany has paid more than $54 billion in compensation to Holocaust survivors since WW II , no payments were made to those living in the Soviet-bloc countries during the Cold War.
The negotiators -- including representatives of Holocaust survivors , the German , US and Eastern European governments , and German companies -- agreed last December on the size of the fund , to be split equally by German government and industry.

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