A Florida congresswoman wants American Public Media and other media outlets to stop airing underwriting spots and advertising by Allianz AG, a German insurer that did business with the Nazis, reports the Miami Herald. Allianz is one of two corporate underwriters of A Prairie Home Companion.
GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who heads the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is backing a bill that would allow Holocaust survivors to sue the insurer and has launched a letter-writing campaign aimed at blocking it from advertising in America until it pays off all Holocaust survivors’ life insurance claims. During World War II, the Herald says, Allianz insured concentration camp facilities as well as sent money to the Nazis instead of rightful Jewish beneficiaries.
APM execs told the newspaper that they are reviewing the congresswoman’s request but have not made a decision on Allianz’s underwriting. the congresswoman also contacted NPR; a spokesperson there declined to comment, saying only that stations are independent entities.
The Associated Press also reported on Nov. 15 that Holocaust survivors have been raising questions about Allianz’s sponsorship of broadcast programs, including A Prairie Home Companion. The Associated Press said American Public Media told survivors in an email to contact Allianz directly to discuss their concerns.
Allianz has a website, “Allianz During the Nazi Era,” explaining the corporation’s history during World War II.