Cookies on Pinsent Masons website

This website uses cookies to allow us to see how the site is used. The cookies cannot identify you. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this

If you want to use the sites without cookies or would like to know more, you can do that here.

IBM sued over Holocaust - Geneva court approves lawsuit

A Geneva court has given the green light to a $12 billion lawsuit filed by a group of Gypsy organisations, accusing computer giant IBM of assisting the Nazis automate the Holocaust, according to The New York Times.06 Feb 2003

The case is being brought by the Gypsy International Recognition and Compensation Action, (GIRCA), an association of over 600 Gypsy organisations.

The lawsuit is apparently based on IBM's alleged provision of the punch-cards and early computing devices that allowed Nazi Germany to organise the attempted extermination of Jews and Gypsies of Europe.

According to GIRCA's web site, New York-based IBM ran the operation from an "unregistered establishment" named "International Business Machines Corp. New York, European Headquarters", which opened in 1935 at 14, Mont-Blanc Street, Geneva.

The legal action was lodged in the Geneva First Instance Court on 31st January 2002, and preliminary hearings will start on 20th March 2003. According to GIRCA, the aim of the lawsuit is "to make Swiss Courts recognise the complicity of IBM with the crimes against humanity committed between 1933 and 1945."

GIRCA claims that, if successful, the lawsuit would bring compensation to the few living Gypsy Holocaust survivors, and fund health and educational projects for impoverished Gypsies in Europe.

Gypsies have long argued that, although they are the poorest ethnic group in Europe, they have been excluded from recent Holocaust compensation settlements in Germany and Switzerland.

IBM was sued in the past by Jewish Holocaust survivors over similar allegations, but the case was dropped following fears that it could block a settlement between Germany and Switzerland on other Holocaust compensation claims.

More from Out-Law.com

Join My Out-Law

  • See only the content that matters to you
  • Tailor Out-Law to your exact needs
  • Save the most useful content for later reading
  • Tailor our weekly eNewsletter to your interests

Join My Out-Law

Already signed up to My Out-Law? Sign in