Claims Conference offers last chance for East Germany property heirs
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Jews who owned property seized by the Nazis in what became East Germany have a last opportunity to receive compensation.
For the first time in a decade, the Claims Conference has agreed to review new claims by potential heirs to Jewish-owned properties in the former East Germany.
On Feb. 19, the organization announced it is establishing a $67 million fund for eligible heirs. The Late Applicants Fund will be open to claimants until Dec. 31, 2014.
After German reunification in 1990, Jewish heirs had until the end of 1992 to file their claims to properties in the former East Germany. All properties for which no heir could be established were handed over to the Claims Conference under an agreement that made the organization the legal successor to those properties.
The deal has netted the Claims Conference some $3 billion in recovered real estate assets. The Claims Conference sold most of the properties and spent more than $1.6 billion of the proceeds on home care for elderly Holocaust survivors, grants for organizations that benefit survivors, and Holocaust education and documentation.
Another $940 million went to a fund set up for claimants who missed the 1992 deadline to file their claims.
Detailed rules and applications for the Late Applicants Fund are available on the Claims Conference’s website, Claimscon.org. The website also features a list of thousands of Jews who owned property in the former East Germany. — jta
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