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40,000 French Businessmen Form Organization to Oppose Return of Property to Jews

The Reuter news agency today reported from Paris that about 40,000 owners of small businesses – mainly furniture, furs, textiles, clothing and Jewelry – have formed a “protective association” to oppose any French government order for the return to Jewish owners of enterprises which were sold to non-Jewish Frenchmen during the German occupation.

“There already have been disturbances where Jewish citizens have tried to retake possession of their pre-war business premises,” the Reuter report stated. “The government faces a delicate problem since undoubtedly some of the new owners are war widows, refugees from Alsace, or people who have been bombed-out in other French areas.”

The solution proposed by the association is to treat Jews who lost their businesses as a result of Vichy anti-Semitic laws as if they had been bombed out. This would entitle them to government compensation.