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December 23, 2010 4:32 am

Restitution Claim Lost over Nationalised Factory

avatar by Joshua Freedman

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A Jew whose button factory was taken over by the Nazis in 1939 and nationalised in 1945 has had his restitution claim rejected by a court in the Czech Republic. The Constitutional Court overturned the Czech Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling which had handed half-ownership of the factory buildings and a collection of expensive artworks to three relatives of Zikmund Waldes. The new decision was based on the principle that property could only be returned if it was seized after the Communists came to power in 1948. The current owners of the factory had purchased it from the state in 1994. Estimates suggest the property at stake is worth tens of millions of dollars.

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