Decision no. 1164/2016
Type of property
Real estate in
KG Andau (32001), Andau, Burgenland | show on map
KG Zwingendorf (13056), Großharras, Niederösterreich | show on map
KG Wulzeshofen (13053), Laa an der Thaya, Niederösterreich | show on map
KG Stronsdorf (13047), Stronsdorf, Niederösterreich | show on map
KG Oberschoderlee (13042), Stronsdorf, Niederösterreich | show on map
KG Patzmannsdorf (13034), Stronsdorf, Niederösterreich | show on map
KG Großharras (13019), Großharras, Niederösterreich | show on map
KG Pernhofen (13005), Laa an der Thaya, Niederösterreich | show on map
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Compensation or other consideration pursuant to Sec. 32 (1) GSF Law
No ownership 1938-1945
No seizure as defined by the GSF Law
Decision in anonymous form
Press Release Decision No. 1164/2016
On 21 June 2016, the Arbitration Panel for In Rem Restitution rejected an application for in rem restitution of several properties in Lower Austria, as the properties – which had been expropriated during the Nazi era for the German Settlement Society – had been restituted to the heirs of the former owner after 1945. One requested area that was owned by the Republic of Austria and had been requisitioned during the course of the regulation of the River Pulkau in 1939. However, this did not constitute a seizure as this transfer of ownership did not occur in conjunction with the Nazi regime.
In 1938, the requested properties belonging to the P. Estate were owned by Paul W. and the estate of his father Jaques W. Following the Anschluss, Paul W., who was considered Jewish, fled Austria for Brazil. The P. Estate was taken over by the German Settlement Society in 1938 and expropriated for the Society’s benefit in 1940. The German Settlement Society paid the liquidator who had been appointed for Paul W. and the estate of Jaques W. compensation of 1,030,000 Reichsmark, which he used to settle the claims of the pair’s creditors. The German Settlement Society sold the property to the German Reich in 1943, which sold parts thereof to Herbert R. in 1944.
The River Pulkau flowed through areas of the P. Estate, which were often affected by flooding. From May 1938 plans were made to regulate the River Pulkau and in 1939 the plans were granted approval by the water authorities. The regulation work and necessary construction measures commenced in July 1939 and resumed in 1946. In 1953 partial areas of the P. Estate were partitioned off and assigned to public water property.
After 1945, Paul W. had filed applications for restitution of the P. Estate against the German Reich and Herbert R. As the Restitution Commission had ruled that a seizure had occurred, the properties belonging to the estate were restituted to Paul W. in 1954 and 1955 and, following his death in 1962, to his heirs. In 1963, they undertook to reimburse the compensation payment that had been received for free disposal and the investments that had exceeded the earnings, a sum totalling 1,200,000 Schilling.
The applicant, a daughter of Paul W., requested in rem restitution of the P. Estate. The previous restitution decisions had constituted an “extreme injustice”.
In its juridical appraisal, the Arbitration Panel first examined whether the parts of the P. Estate that had been requisitioned for the regulation of the River Pulkau had been seized. It found that they had not, since they had not been requisitioned in connection with the persecution of the owners. As the other properties of the P. Estate had already been restituted, the application for in rem restitution of the entire P. Estate was rejected.
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