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19 Nov 2014 - Former East Germany - Claims Conference Late Application Fund

Former East Germany - Claims Conference Late Application Fund

Former East Germany - Claims Conference Late Application Fund

The Claims Conference has established a Late Applicants Fund (“LAF”) of €50 million to accept applications from certain heirs of former owners of Jewish property/assets located in the former East Germany for which the Claims Conference received proceeds. Applications must be submitted before 31 December 2014.

Following the demise of communism in 1989 and the formal re-uniting of East and West Germany in 1990, the unified German government introduced the national German restitution law allowing owners, or their heirs, of properties in the former East Germany to submit claims for the return of their properties.

With the expiry of the timeframe to file claims to the national restitution law in 1992, the Claims Conference filed a blanket claim for properties that were once owned by Jewish victims of the Holocaust who lived in that part of Germany that came under the Communist sphere of influence at the end of the Second World War.

In 1996, the Claims Conference created the Goodwill Fund, through which properties were returned to their rightful owners with 20% of the value being kept by the Claims Conference for allocation to worldwide social and welfare programmes, including the Emergency Fund disbursed by the AJR.

In September 2003, the Claims Conference published a list of Jewish owners of properties in the former East Germany with a final deadline to submit claims of the end of March 2004. The full value of any unclaimed properties have since ceded to the Successor Organisation department of the Claims Conference.

In April 2009, the Claims Conference announced changes to the Goodwill Fund that afforded the right to receive reparations for properties they or their families owned in the former East Germany to certain claimants, where: a) the claim was submitted by an original owner of the property or spouse of the original owner, or b) the claim was submitted by a child, grandchild or great grandchild of the original owner who can prove, through medical documentation that they were, for medical reasons, unable to file an application in the period immediately before the deadline of March 31, 2004.

A list of former owners, properties and assets can be viewed here http://forms.claimscon.org/LAF/LAF-Liste.pdf and the application form can be downloaded by clicking here. The Claims Conference has pointed out that no successful applicant to the LAF will receive more than he or she would have received if he or she had made a timely claim under the German Property Law 1990. For full details of the LAF, including who is entitled to make an application visit http://www.claimscon.org/?url=LAF

All communications regarding the Late Applicants Fund should be submitted to: Claims Conference Successor Organization, Sophienstrasse 26, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The fax number is 0049-69-97-07-08-11 and email claims-conference-laf@claimscon.org

For information about the Claims Conference's previous efforts to recover and return properties owned by Jews in the former East Germany click here.