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Kunin’s Mother Had Swiss Bank Account

BERNE, July 29 (AFP) - The Jewish mother of the US ambassador to Switzerland had a Swiss bank account with 100 dollars in it before World War II, the embassy said Wednesday.

Ambassador Madeleine Kunin was informed by a Swiss bank that her mother's name was on a list of unclaimed accounts set up by the Swiss bank association.

Kunin, of Swiss Jewish origin, was born in Zurich in 1933 and her family emigrated to the United States in 1940.

The embassy spokesman was quoted by the Swiss news agency ATS as saying the fact that the ambassador had been informed of the existence of the sum demonstrated that all the accounts, large or small, were being carefully examined.

A compensation fund was set up last year following an international outcry over the failure of Swiss banks to hand back money and valuables deposited by Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s, and to return gold looted by the Nazis.

Jewish Holocaust survivors living in the United States can from next month apply for payments from the fund set up by Switzerland's biggest banks, a fund spokesman said.

Between 30,000 and 50,000 US Jews will be eligible to apply for shares of the 31.4 million dollars from August 17.

About 100,000 Holocaust survivors live in the United States, 30,000 to 50,000 of whom would qualify for payments, said the spokesman.