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United Nations Issue Declaration Promising Restoration of Property Seized by Nazis

Jewish property in Germany and in Nazi-held territories, whether acquired by non-Jews “legally” or seized by Nazi officials, will be restored to the rightful Jewish owners after the war when the Nazis are defeated, according to a joint declaration issued here today by seventeen of the United Nations and the Fighting French.

The declaration, made public through the State Department, does not refer to Jews specifically but officials indicated that it supplements the joint statement which the United Nations issued recently, warning the Nazis of retribution for the massacres of Jews in Europe.

In their declaration today the United Nations, including the Fighting French, warn all persons to refrain from acquiring any property in Nazi-held territory which may later be claimed by the rightful owners. Together with the declaration, the Dutch Government-in-Exile today issued a statement describing the methods through which the Germans in occupied Holland acquire the property of Jews and of persons considered friendly to the Allied cause.


The full text of the declaration made public by the State Department reads: “The Union of South Africa, the United States of America, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czechoslovak Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Greece, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French National Committee: Hereby issue a formal warning to all concerned, and in particular to persons in neutral countries, that they intend to do their utmost to defeat the methods of dispossession practiced by the governments with which they are at war against the countries and peoples who have been so wantonly assaulted and despoiled.

“Accordingly the governments making this declaration and the French National Committee reserve all their rights to declare invalid any transfers of, or dealings with, property, rights and interests of any description what-soever which are, or have been, situated in the territories which have come under the occupation or control, direct or indirect, of the governments with which they are at war or which belong or have belonged, to persons, including juridical persons, resident in such territories. This warning applies whether such transfers or dealings have taken the form of open looting or plunder, or of transactions apparently legal in form, even when they purport to be voluntarily effected. The governments making this declaration and the French National Committee solemnly record their solidarity in this matter.”