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Posted Wednesday, January 6, 1999


More good news about Christoph Meili

USA Today
November 19, 1998

Man who saved Holocaust files gets scholarship

By Martin Kasindorf, USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES -- A liberal-arts university that stresses "global citizenship" has awarded a four-year scholarship to Christoph Meili, the Swiss bank guard who lost his job and won U.S. asylum after saving Holocaust-era documents from the shredder.

MeiliMeili, 30, will enroll next fall at 3,700-student Chapman University in Orange, Calif., where tuition costs $18,000 a year. Chapman was one of three southern California schools offering Meili a full scholarship, says William Elperin, president of a Holocaust survivors' group that will pay living expenses for Meili and his family.

"I see a future in my life here in the United States," Meili says.

In January 1997, Meili was making night rounds at the United Bank of Switzerland's Zurich headquarters when he discovered illegal shredding of documents relating to Nazi seizures of Berlin properties from Jews. Meili's whistle-blowing played a key role in a $1.23-billion settlement reached between Swiss banks and Holocaust survivors, their families and Jewish groups.

ClintonReviled as a traitor in Swiss news media and subjected to death threats, Meili in April 1997 decided against returning to Switzerland after testifying before the U.S. Senate in Washington.

President Clinton signed special legislation granting residency to Meili, his Italian-born wife, Giuseppina, and their children, Mirjam, now 6, and Davide, 4.

Meili worked as a security guard in a Manhattan high-rise, but recently quit when he accepted Chapman's offer.

Our opinion
  A WORRIED world will be relieved to hear that Meili too has his financial future taken care of. The newspaper article fails to mention that the files that he stole and sold to the Israeli Cultural Centre in Zürich were unwanted duplicates of old files, all of which remained safe in the bank archives; and that only a few were relevant to the "Swiss Gold" saga. But it makes a good-news story, and the world (apart from Switzerland) is a happier place for that. . .
  1. Relevant links: Abe Foxman on how international Jewish bodies "bludgeoned" the Swiss | |
  2. Goldhunt update| |
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