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Jewish Restitution Claims in Western Germany Total $50,000,000, Expert Estimates

The total restitution claims for privately-owned Jewish property in Western Germany and in the western part of Berlin amounts to at least three billion marks–approximately $50,000,000–and more than one-third of the claimants reside in Israel at present, Dr. George Landauer, Israel expert, told a press conference here today.

Dr. Landauer estimated that the restitution of private Jewish property in Germany will give rise to litigation for generations, since many claims require court proceedings. He also predicted that the export of goods or currency under restitution claims may face many difficulties even from the occupation powers. He therefore suggested that “a global settlement” with the occupation authorities be effected as an early solution to the entire restitution problem.

Dr. Landauer also advocated the establishment of a “transfer system” for the removal of goods from Germany to Israel along the same lines that Jewish property was transferred from Nazi Germany to Palestine in 1933, soon after the Nazis came to power. “If we must choose between leaving all Jewish property indefinitely in Germany and transferring it to Israel in the form of products of great importance to the economic development of our country, we should choose the latter course,” he said.

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