The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced this week that it has received a list of 12,000 Nazis living in Argentina, many of whom contributed to bank accounts at the Schweizerische Kreditanstalt, which became the Credit Suisse bank, based in Zurich, Switzerland.

The list was discovered by Argentinian investigator Pedro Filipuzzi in an old storage room in the former Buenos Aires Nazi headquarters.

During the 1930s, the pro-Nazi military regime of Argentinian President José Félix Uriburu and his successor Agustín Pedro Justo had welcomed a growing Nazi presence in Argentina, noted the Wiesenthal Center.

In a letter to Credit Suisse vice president Christian Küng, the Wiesenthal Center stated: “We believe it very probable that these dormant accounts hold monies looted from Jewish victims, under the Nuremberg Aryanization laws of the 1930s. We are aware that you already have claimants as alleged heirs of Nazis in the list.”

The Wiesenthal Center requested access to the Credit Suisse archives to settle the matter on behalf of the diminishing number of Holocaust survivors.

The letter also stated that “in 1997, we organized a major conference in Geneva, together with Winterthur Insurance, on ‘Restitution: A Moral Debt to History.’ A few weeks before our conference, I received a telephone call from Credit Suisse, requesting to co-sponsor our gathering.”

“In the spirit of the conference’s title, I asked for access to spoliated accounts for our expert researcher. There was no response,” said the letter. “The current story and the remaining assets, arguably looted, of 12,000 Nazis will, we hope, be viewed differently, for the good name of Credit Suisse.”

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