130,000 apply for return of seized property
14 March 2005, BERLIN - The German state agency charged with unresolved property questions said on Monday it is still working on over 130,000 applications for return of properties seized during the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945.
14 March 2005
BERLIN - The German state agency charged with unresolved property questions said on Monday it is still working on over 130,000 applications for return of properties seized during the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945.
About 30,000 applications have been filed for the return of companies and businesses and a further 102,000 have been made for the return of land, said the Federal Bureau for Unresolved Property Questions (BAROV) in a statement.
The applications are for property in former communist East Germany which was dissolved under the 1990 German reunification. Under communism, industry and most businesses were state owned as was almost all farm and forest land.
"Researching this is extremely complicated because most seizures took place some 70 years ago and only a few of the former owners are still alive," said the statement.
Before property is sold in eastern Germany many buyers demand a so-called "negative certification" by the BAROV under which the agency researches former owners to check if there are any Third Reich era claims.
Since unification, the BAROV has issued 11.8 million such certifications.
A book published this month by German historian Goetz Aly argues the Third Reich won support from much of the public less because of burning anti-Semitism and more because the spoils seized from Jews could be distributed to the rest of the population under the regime's social welfare system.
Subject: German news