German Restitution Laws

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The German Restitution Laws were a series of laws passed in the 1950s in West Germany regulating the restitution of lost property and the payment of damages to victims of the Nazi persecutions.

A first law for the restitution of private persons was the Bundesergänzungsgesetz zur Entschädigung für Opfer der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung (BErG) of September 18, 1953.[1] This law was passed after only 3½ month of deliberations, and it was felt that improvements and amendments would be needed. Such changes were made in the Bundesgesetz zur Entschädigung für Opfer der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung (BEG), which was passed on June 29, 1956, and modified again in the Bundesentschädigungsschlussgesetz (BEG-SG) of September 14, 1965. Both the BEG and the BEG-SG became effective retroactively as per October 1, 1953.[1]

Other restitution laws were the Gesetz zur Wiedergutmachung nationalsozialistischen Unrechts im öffentlichen Dienst (BWGöD) for (former) employees of public service institutions of May 11, 1951, and the Bundesgesetz zur Regelung der rückerstattungsrechtlichen Geldverbindlichkeiten des Deutschen Reiches und gleichgestellter Rechtsträger (Bundesrückerstattungsgesetz, BRüG) of July 19, 1957.[1]

The BErG/BEG deals with compensatory payments for suffered personal damage, while the BRüG covers restitutions for expropriated property. Claimants had to file their claims in order to receive payments; the term for filing claims under the BEG expired on December 31, 1969.[1]

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  1. ^ a b c d Lehmann-Richter, A.: Die gerichtliche Beurteilung rückwirkender Gesetzesänderungen im Wiedergutmachungsrecht, forum historiae iuris, December 1, 2002. In German. URL last accessed 2006-12-13.

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