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Bavarian Jews Agree on Distribution of Jewish Communal Property

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The executive board of the Bavarian Association of Jewish Communities has given its approval “in principle” to the draft agreement on the distribution of Jewish communal property that was worked out in the spring of last year by the “successor organizations” on the one hand, the re-established Jewish Communities on the other.

At stake in the long-standing dispute is the distribution of the property of the prewar Jewish communities in Germany between the “successor organizations,” sponsored by the international Jewish bodies, and the Jewish communities in today’s Germany. In June of 1955, an all-encompassing settlement of the vexatious issue was initialed by Jerome J. Jacobson on behalf of the Jewish Restitution Successor Organization, the Jewish Trust Corporation for Germany, the Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency and the Central British Fund; and by H. G. Van Dam on behalf of the various communal bodies of German Jewry-the Central Council of Jews in Germany, the Central Welfare Agency of Jews in Germany, the Association of Jewish Communities in Northwest Germany, the Jewish Community in Berlin and the Working Committee of Jewish Communities in the U. S. zone.

Under the comprehensive 1955 agreement a Trust Fund is to be set up and endowed with substantial lump-sum payments by the “successor organizations,” so as to defray certain expenses devolving upon the present-day communities. That agreement had to be ratified by the respective parent bodies among them the Bavarian Association of Jewish Communities, and this group has hitherto failed to give its consent. Its executive board meeting this week was attended by Dr. Van Dam, the Secretary-General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, who urged that the decision be delayed no longer.

In view of the fact that a judgment by the former United States Court of Restitution Appeals in Nuremberg, and the Amendment to the Federal Indemnification Law have both confirmed the formerly disputed right of the “successor organizations” to claim the assets of the former Jewish communities in Germany, the hold-out Bavarian Association has now indicated its willingness to become a signatory of the 1955 settlement Particulars are still the subject of negotiations, however.

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