German prince loses bid for return of property

7th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

The prince claims the Nazis stripped his late grandfather of his company and estates in the wake of the July 1944 bid to assassinate Hitler.

Potsdam, Germany -- A German prince has lost his bid to win back land and property he claims was seized from his family after an abortive bomb plot against Hitler.

The administrative court in Potsdam, near Berlin, confirmed Friday it had dismissed a claim brought by Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth, 45, for the return of a 7,224-hectare tract in the state of Brandenburg.

The prince claims the Nazis stripped his late grandfather, the 3rd Prince zu Solms-Baruth, of his rights of ownership over his company and estates in Brandenburg in the wake of the July 1944 bid to assassinate Hitler.

The court ruled Thursday that the land was not seized as a result of Nazi actions but expropriated as part of a land reform.

While conceding that Prince zu Solms-Baruth's grandfather was persecuted by the Nazis, this persecution did not result in the loss of his fortune, the court found.

A statement released by the prince's spokesman expressed disappointment that the court "decided to uphold a 60-year-old injustice and prevent the return of assets appropriated from his family."

"Prince zu Solms-Baruth's fight to regain the assets and to have his grandfather's suffering recognized will continue. The ruling will be appealed in order that this important issue of human rights may be resolved at the highest level."

The property had been in the prince's family since the 16th century.

His grandfather was aware of the plot to kill Hitler and was arrested a day of the bombing, which the Nazi dictator escaped with scratches and bruises.

The prince's father launched a bid for restitution in 1999. After his death in 2006, his son continued to pursue the case.


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