Seattle Couple Who Fled Nazi Germany During WW2 Leave Life Savings, $847,000 To U.S. Treasury

A 'Thank You' to the United States for taking them in
(PHOTO)



A couple from Seattle left all they had, nearly $1 million, “to the government of the United States of America" in their identical wills, the lawyer who administered the estate said.

A cashier's check for $847,215.57 was received and deposited into the U.S. Department of the Treasury's general funds on May 13, according to U.S. assistant attorney Peter Winn, who told ABC News today that he was the one who worked with the Treasury Department to accept the money on behalf of the government.

Though Peter Petrasek and Joan Petrasek never indicated why they wanted to donate all of their money to the U.S. government, Winn believes the money is a "thank you" to the country that took in the couple after they fled from Nazi-controlled eastern Europe in World War II.

"This case is interesting because it seems to be that these were two immigrants who felt grateful to have this adoptive country open its arms to them after having a hard time in eastern Europe during World War II," Winn said. "It really reminds you how this country was founded by immigrants, and it's pretty obvious these folks felt pretty proud they were U.S. citizens."



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