Re: "Declaration of Means" - can one collect from these assets? #germany

Barbara Algaze

MODERATOR NOTE: Further discussion of this must be off list. Topic closed.

I would like to thank everyone who wrote to me in response to my 9 September
2011 posting regarding collecting >from assets that were stolen >from our
families by the Nazis. What is **really** interesting is that the responses
were "all over the map." Some told me that I should go after the assets and
gave me specific information on whom to contact; others told me that it was
too late, that the statute of limitations has expired, and I should not even
waste my time. Unfortunately, no one wrote to tell me of their success and
how they attained it.

For your information, I will list some of the specifics that were sent to me.
Perhaps something might be helpful in your own attempt to recover family assets.

In turn, if you have any success, please share. Thank you.

Barbara Algaze, Los Angeles, California


1) Deutsche Bundesbank
(POB)Postfach 100602
60006 Frankfurt am Main
Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse 14
60431 Frankfurt am Main

2) Commerzbank
60311 Frankfurt am Main
fax 0049-69-285-389

3) " I think that you would be in a better position in communicating with
the above two banks if you could first find out via such a procedure whether
you are on firm ground and how you might best proceed. The mailing address is:"

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Also see

"In addition, I found State Department information that is directly relevant
to your question.
At the bottom of this website is an invitation to "Contact Us." "

4) Zentral Rat der Juden in Deutschland
(Central Jewish Council in Germany)
(POB) Postfach 040207
10061 Berlin
fax 0049-30-28445613

5) Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. (Claims
Conference Restitution)
1359 Broadway, Room 2000
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (646) 536-9100
from their website: "Applications are twice a year. Applications are
submitted for review to the Claims Conference on a semi-annual basis.
The current application deadlines are June 15 and December 15, 2011"

6) Holocaust Era Asset Restitution Taskforce (Project HEART).
"Project HEART's Comprehensive Archive of Jewish Holocaust Victims' Assets
Now Contains 1.5 Million Records
Searchable, user-friendly database is the largest single-source of Holocaust
era property records. Contact Project HEART immediately to learn if you are
eligible for restitution. Project HEART currently seeks direct contact with
all eligible persons, Jewish Holocaust victims and their heirs worldwide who
lost Jewish property assets >from the Holocaust era."
Anya Verkhovskaya, Administrative Project Director,,
Language: ENGLISH +1-414-967-2581

7) Kriegsentschaedigungen (War Reparations)
"Perhaps they can get you in touch with an address for more information "
(POB) Postfach 900504
81505 Muenchen, Deutschland (Germany)
David Gall,
The website at is in German and I could not find any
English translation.

8) Hashava at
The Company for Location & Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets
18 Hasivim St.
Petach Tikva 49250
Tel: (972)-3-516-4117
1-800-475-1049 (Toll Free – U.S. Only)
from their website "The Company only handles restitution of assets purchased
in Israel by Holocaust victims and has no ties with similar efforts being
carried out in other countries."

"The Company for Restitution of Holocaust Victims Assets, in charge of
returning assets stolen >from Jews by the Nazis during World War II has a
list of shares in the Jewish Colonial Trust (JCT) of individuals who
perished during the war. Relatives of Jews who died in the holocaust can
turn to the company through its Web site at, to check if
the company is holding monies owed them."

I also received the following comments:

1) "Assets in German accounts were forfeited if not declared on a special
form called 'Ablieferung von Bargeld und Anmeldung von Reichsmarkkonten bei
Geldinstituten' (Handing in of cash and registration of accounts in
reichsmarks at financial institutions). The deadline was 26 June 1948."

2) "I also learned recently of some account my grandmother had at the time
she was deported >from Berlin to Auschwitz -- at the Dresdner Bank and
Commerzbank. I am not certain, but I think we are many years too late to
recover any value >from those stolen accounts."

3) "I too had similar records, and did write to the bank. They said they
could do nothing for me."

4) And >from a friend, who searches for assets and works to get them
returned to the proper family:

"The definitive answer: If they weren't applied for already during one of
the many periods when Germany had an application process for the restitution
of these assets- then no. There are ways to see documentation today about
assets that your forefathers/mothers owned- this does not necessarily mean
that you can do anything about the assets.

Germany, unlike many other countries, has already opened processes to get
the return or restitution of part of these assets, three different
application times and deadlines, if I am correct- the last one ended in the
mid 1990's and there will be no more. The only loophole is if you can get a
team of sharp lawyers who can prove that somehow the asset your family had
does not fit into the defined list of assets that could have been received
in the past.

This is not the case with bank accounts, there was a defined process and a
definite deadline and it has past already. The same holds true for most
normal assets, like real estate, businesses, life insurance, etc.

There are at present two exceptions to this rule, and that is for artwork
and property in the former East Germany that, due to some fluke, managed to
stay in the name of the original owners and haven't been sold and the
proceeds transferred to the government yet. This is a very small percentage,
to be sure, but these cases do exist.

Barbara Algaze,, wrote:
Does anyone know if it is possible, at this late date, for descendants of
these women to collect against these bank accounts?
And if so, how would it be done?

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