Berlin (Oct. 21)
A law providing for the return of Jewish and other property illegally seized during the Nazi regime is ready for implementation, it was learned today. The decree will be promulgated either later this week or early next ##ek, as soon as it is signed by Gen. Lucius D. Clay, American commander in Germany.
The measure, which will apply only to the American zone, represents the failure to secure agreement on legislation covering all four zones, and also a defeat for those groups which were attempting to secure a bi-zonal law covering the British and ##erican zones.The AMG reaction to the British order of yesterday, instructing all persons to register property in their possession which was obtained on racial, religious or political grounds, is that it is the first step towards a British restitution law. It is pointed out, however, that there is no indication when such a law will be forth-coming, and the AMG sources believe that nothing definite will be done until the international situation–meaning Palestine–is clarified.
Some dissatisfaction is expressed with the measure which is to go into effect in the U.S, zone. As originally drafted, the measure established the principle that very transfer of property during the Nazi regime could be presumed to have been effected under duress and therefore could be annulled. Subsequent amendment modified this principle andintroduced a number of factors which the court could take into consideration in individual cases, making the question of the degree of duress exercised in each transfer a possible subject of inquiry. This, it is asserted, will complicate the process of property restitution and increase the difficulties of many victims of the Nazis in obtaining restitution.
Dr. Everett Clinchy, president of the American National Conference of Christians and Jews, has arrived here at the invitation of Gen. Clay to study the possibilities of establishing German inter-faith councils. Dr. Clinchy told the Jewish telegraphic Agency that he has already met with press and radio people here, all of whom have promised their cooperation. The British authorities are also interested, ## said.