Gray Davis slams Shoah insurance claim backtracking

The law requires insurers to submit lists of their European policyholders from 1920 to 1945 or face the loss of their state licenses.

Insurance companies have challenged the law, contending that the state is overstepping its authority to regulate their business.

An estimated 20,000 Holocaust survivors and their heirs live in California, according to the governor. Some 10 million life insurance policies were sold in Europe during the years covered by the Holocaust Victims Insurance Relief Act.

"It would be a travesty for the Supreme Court to wipe out this potential tool for survivors to verify their family's insurance policies," the governor said in the statement.

In a related move, Davis proclaimed April 27 through May 4 as "Days of Remembrance," in observance of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

"It is only by teaching and learning from the lessons of the Holocaust that we can eliminate the hatred that threatens the values of freedom, equality, and justice that we hold most dear," the governor said.

Yom HaShoah was observed on Tuesday.

— Abby Cohn