U.S. Court Rules German Cities Must Pay for Valuables Jews Forced to Sell at Loss

Thousands of German Jewish survivors of Nazis now scattered throughout the world may be entitled to large sums as a result of a decision by the United States Court of Restitution Appeals, it was stated here today by an American spokesman.

The American court, in a decision reversing a Bavarian German court, yesterday decided that Jews forced to sell their jewelry and other valuables to municipal pawn shops during the Nazi regime may recover the true value of the items from the municipality involved. The American spokesman, however, would attempt no estimate of the amount of property involved.

The case which ended in Frankfort yesterday involved the claim of Mrs. Rosa Moschkowitz, who was compelled to sell family silverware to the Nuremberg pawn shops. The municipality’s defense in the case was that it had accepted such items as an agent for the Nazi Government and was not responsible for the losses inflicted on the Jews.

The American court ruled that the municipalities could not hide behind the Hitler regime and must compensate the victims. It ordered the German court to reconvene and set a value on the objects confiscated from Mrs. Moschkowitz. Pointing out that in the case of such forced sales the money received by the victims was almost invariably placed in blocked accounts, the American court labelled the entire procedure “wholesale robbery.”

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