U.S. Will Put Own Restitution Law in Effect in Germany if Four Powers Fail to Agree

The American Military Government in Germany has un-officially given the Four Power conferees now meeting in Berlin to discuss a nationwide restitution law six weeks in which to come to an agreement or else it will place into effect in the U.S. zone a restitution law passed March 11 by the Minister-Presidents of the four German states, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today.

The American, British, French and Russian delegates, who have already been meeting for a week, are apparently deadlocked on the issue of what shall be done with hairless and unclaimed property. The American delegation is reported insisting upon the creation of a central Jewish agency to administer such property, while the Soviet representatives are said to be favoring turning over the property to the German authorities. The British and French are still undecided.

As adopted in the American zone, the restitution law would nullify all transactions affecting Jews or other persecutees which occurred after Jan. 30, 1933. Morever possible the property will be returned to the former owners or their heirs and where the property cannot be traced the German states will make restitution. Present holders of property confiscated or transferred under duress will be forced to surrender it even if they were unaware at the time they obtained it that the property had been taken from persecutees. The law, which was passed under AMG guidance, and will effect 15,000 Jews in Germany and many more thousands cutside the country, carried a provise that it would not go into effect until there was a uniform restitution law in effect throughout all four zones.

NEXT STORY