Apr 2013 Journal

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Claims Conference Late Applicants’ Fund

The Claims Conference has established a Late Applicants’ Fund of €50 million to accept applications from certain heirs of former owners of Jewish property/assets located in the former East Germany for which the Claims Conference received proceeds. Applications must be submitted before 31 December 2014.

Following the demise of Communism in 1989 and the formal re-uniting of East and West Germany in 1990, the unified German government introduced the national German restitution law, allowing owners, or their heirs, of properties in the former East Germany to submit claims for the return of their properties.

With the expiry of the timeframe to file claims to the national restitution law in 1992, the Claims Conference filed a blanket claim for properties that were once owned by Jewish victims of the Holocaust who lived in that part of Germany that came under the Communist sphere of influence at the end of the Second World War.

In 1996, the Claims Conference created the Goodwill Fund, through which properties were returned to their rightful owners with 20 per cent of the value being kept by the Claims Conference for allocation to worldwide social and welfare programmes, including the Emergency Fund disbursed by the AJR.

In September 2003, the Claims Conference published a list of Jewish owners of properties in the former East Germany with a final deadline to submit claims by the end of March 2004. The full value of any unclaimed properties has since ceded to the Successor Organisation department of the Claims Conference.

In April 2009, the Claims Conference announced changes to the Goodwill Fund that afforded the right to receive reparations for properties they or their families owned in the former East Germany to certain claimants, where (a) the claim was submitted by an original owner of the property or spouse of the original owner or (b) the claim was submitted by a child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the original owner who can prove through medical documentation that they were, for medical reasons, unable to file an application in the period immediately before the deadline of 31 March 2004.

A list of former owners, properties and assets can be viewed at http://forms.claimscon.org/LAF/LAF-Liste.pdf and the Claims Conference has pointed out that no successful applicant to the Late Applicants’ Fund will receive more than they would have received had they made a timely claim under the German Property Law 1990. For full details of the Late Applicants’ Fund, including who is entitled to make an application, visit http://www.claimscon.org/?url=LAF

All communications regarding the Late Applicants’ Fund should be submitted to: Claims Conference Successor Organisation, Sophienstrasse 26, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, fax 0049-69-97-07-08-11, email claims-conference-laf@claimscon.org

Michael Newman

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