ADVERTISEMENT

Insurer With Nazi Past Will Sponsor Beijing Olympics, Team USA Athletes

Holocaust survivor groups say Allianz owes billions of dollars to families of murdered Jews

Getty Images
• January 27, 2022 2:40 pm

SHARE

One of the sponsors of the Beijing Olympics and Team USA athletes is an insurance company with a history of Nazi collaboration that has lobbied Congress against paying out policies to families of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Allianz of America, a subsidiary of the German insurance giant, is sponsoring a Team USA cross country skier and a curling team that will take part in the Beijing games. Its German parent company, Allianz SE, insured Auschwitz, Dachau, and other Nazi death camps while selling insurance policies to Jews. Allianz of America has paid $200,000 to the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck since 2019 lobbying on the issue of World War II-era insurance payments. The firm uses its in-house lobbying team to oppose the Holocaust Insurance Accountability Act, a bill that would allow the beneficiaries of insurance policies sold during the Holocaust era to sue European insurers in U.S. federal court.

Allianz’s history of collaborating with the Third Reich draws parallels to the Beijing Olympics, which have been dubbed the "Genocide Games" because of the Chinese government’s ongoing atrocities against Uyghurs in western China. Human rights groups such as the World Uyghur Congress have called on Allianz and other sponsors to pull out of the games, or to publicly rebuke Chinese authorities for the Uyghur genocide.

Holocaust survivor groups say Allianz owes billions of dollars to survivors and the families of murdered Jews.

"It is shameful for the United States Olympic Committee to accept sponsorship from Allianz, and shameful for the Olympics itself to participate in this cover-up of Allianz’s true history and its current unmet obligations," said David Schaecter, president of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA, a national coalition of Holocaust survivors and survivor groups.

Schaecter, a Holocaust victim who had 105 family members murdered by the Nazis, said Allianz has grown into the international conglomerate it is today because of $3 billion stolen from Jews.

"Instead of honoring the insurance policies it sold to Jewish families, Allianz is sponsoring so-called charity events and spectacles like the Olympics," Schaecter told the Washington Free Beacon.

Allianz and other Olympic sponsors are reportedly paying $2 billion to the International Olympic Committee to sponsor the games, which start on Feb. 4. All of the companies are listed as worldwide partners of Team USA. One sponsor, Airbnb, reportedly paid the International Olympic Committee $500 million to serve as a sponsor through 2028. Coca-Cola and Intel are among the American companies sponsoring the games.

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America announced earlier this month it is sponsoring gold medalist cross-country skier Jessie Diggins and a gold medalist curling team led by John Shuster. Allianz said the athletes exemplify the company’s values of "integrity, caring, excellence, and respect."

Allianz’s past sports sponsorships have fallen apart because of its Nazi past. The company pulled out of a deal to purchase naming rights for the New York Jets and New York Giants football stadium in 2008 following protests over its ties to the Third Reich. The company dropped its sponsorship of a PGA gold tournament in 2017 after years of protest from the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA. Allianz came under fire several years ago after the company ignored calls to cut ties with Iran over the regime’s denial of the Holocaust.

Allianz has defended its handling of Holocaust-era insurance claims. The company has touted its role forming the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims and says it has paid more than $300 million to settle 48,000 claims.

Survivor groups say the commission’s payments are a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars still owed to Holocaust victims and their families.

"The public should know that the Nazis and their collaborators also perpetrated a massive theft against the Jewish people, and Allianz was one of the worst offenders," Schaecter, 92, told the Free Beacon.

Allianz and Allianz of America did not respond to requests for comment. Team USA also did not respond to a request for comment.

Published under: Beijing Olympics, China, Holocaust, Uyghur