Re: Discovered my grandmother owned land before the war, what now? #austria-czech #holocaust

Theo Rafael

Hi Moses,

There are variable laws depending on specific countries and there are no hard and fast rules.

Our family owned property in Transylvania (Romania) which was first confiscated by the fascists, then returned at the end of WW2 only to be retaken by the communists over the next few years. 
After 1989 there were a series of laws  in Romania that allowed for restitution of property or compensation depending on specific rules. It was a very long battle with laws changing every few years, old laws being changed or replaced by new ones but we were able to get back some property over the years.. My father was lucky to get help from successive local friends (paid on an annual basis and contingency fees), and there were multiple lawsuits filed, lawyers hired, various committees attended and evaluations made over these decades.
Two lawsuits are still ongoing; those were filed in the past 2-5 years after authorities didn't move forward as required by law on SOME of the properties. 
You have to investigate what such laws are in effect in your specific country and whether you can still file under such laws or maybe you can just file a lawsuit. In Romania most of these laws are already past their expiration date, not sure if and what could be done if you were to start now in Romania.
So to sum it up, a lot depends on specific laws in specific countries, in our case there were mixed results over the last 3 decades and the process has still not been finalized.

Theo Rafael     nloftis@...

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