Frankfurt (Jul. 22)
Plans are under way here for the establishment of German civil courts to handle the claims of Jews and other anti-Nazis seeking the return of their confiscated or stolen property, Col. Leslie Jefferson, Chief of the Reparations and Restitution Division of the United States Group Control Council, said today.
Col. Jefferson’s deputy, Lieut Col. C.S. Reid, a former Atlanta Jurist, is presently drawing up regulations under which these courts will operate. The military reparations chief, whose home is in Redlands, Calif. served in the army of occupation after the last war. He admitted that this time there is great difficulty in finding German judges for the new courts, six of which are to be set up.
Under the Nazis all judges were party members and some of them are the most vicious of the war criminals. The Group Control legal division, however, is sifting the lists of attorneys in an attempt to find some who either opposed the Nazis or refused to join the party.
Meanwhile, the local military government of Frankfurt has located two hundred sizeable properties which formerly belonged to Jews. Of these, eighty-eight have been totally destroyed by bombing, twenty are half-destroyed, and only about fifty-six are completely undamaged.
Steps are being taken to place these properties under military control, but the authorities doubt whether the majority of them will ever be claimed, since in most cases the original owners were murdered by the Nazis.