German Civil Lawsuit by Jewish Heirs Raises Fresh Questions of Property Ownership

from The Jewish Week:

German Ruling Leads To Suit Against Claims Conference

When a three-judge German appeals court ruled recently about the ownership of unclaimed Jewish property in East Germany, it might have opened the door for Holocaust survivors and their heirs to claim their property now held by the Claims Conference.

A German lawyer, Fritz Enderlein, believes the German Federal Administrative Court did just that …

But the Claims Conference and two lawyers in Germany and New York who studied the court decision, see it differently.

A successful suit could hamstring the Claims Conference [emphasis added], which has already sold or received compensation for more than $1 billion worth of formerly Jewish East German property. That money has been given out in grants primarily to social welfare agencies worldwide to help the neediest and most vulnerable Jewish Holocaust survivors, to provide a “social safety net” for them, as well as for Holocaust research, education and documentation, according to the Claims Conference’s website.