Law Formalities Scrapped in Reich Property Seizures
Menu JTA Search

Law Formalities Scrapped in Reich Property Seizures

Download PDF for this date

Property of German Jews suspected of intending to go abroad permanently has already been seized without legal formalities, the New York Times reported today in a Berlin dispatch giving additional details of the new exchange law empowering such action by the Exchange Control Service.

The law gives the Exchange Control Service the right to seize and administer the fortune and property of any citizens suspected of an intention to go abroad permanently, the Times dispatch states. According to the report, an addendum to the law provides that even suspicion is not necessary, thus relieving the exchange control functionaries of the “embarrassing business of proving their suspicions in the courts.”

The report continues:

“Those whose bank accounts, securities and other property are taken over under this decree can employ their property or any portion of it only with specific permission of exchange officials.

“The new law was published along with a long list of stricter amendments in the general foreign exchange control regulations.

“The process of seizure and administration of the holdings of suspected persons has been, in the case of Jews, already applied without benefit of formal law. Some time ago Jews suspected of a desire to flee the Reich were ordered to deposit a certain percentage of their fortunes with a Reichsbank subsidiary.

“While the new law was created solely for purposes of exchange control in theory at least there is nothing to prevent the regime from employing it against any one for any reason. Apparently there is no limit on the period of time private property may be sequestered in this fashion. An appeal to the review boards of the Foreign Exchange Control Administration is possible, but apparently there can be no appeal to the courts.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund