Law Providing for Restitution of Jewish Property in Germany May Meet German Opposition

There is a strong possibility that the draft proposals for restitution to Jews of property stripped from them by the Nazis will be rejected by the German Minister Presidents of the four states in the U.S. zone when they meet in Stuttgart Monday and Tuesday, it was learned here today.

A high Military Government source told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that if the Germans refuse to adopt the laws, the occupation authorities are ready to issue them as Military Government decrees. (The New York Times reports today from Frankfurt that German officials believe that the laws will probably be approved by the German Council of States.)

The Military Government official pointed out that the laws constitute a delicate political issue and German officials are afraid of losing popular support by backing legislation favoring persecutees. The restitution measures provide that real or personal property will be returned to the owners wherever possible. Where the property cannot be traced, the German states will make restitution. Disputes will be heard by special German tribunals set up along the lines of the de-Nazification tribunals. Americans would check every decision, and appeals could be taken to Military Government courts.

Property belonging to persons who are known to have died without leaving heirs or who have disappeared and are presumed to be dead, will be turned over to a central rehabilitation fund. Persons who are no longer in Germany may claim their property by sending in proof of their ownerships.

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