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Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft - Documents

[Unsettled property claims from the restitution proceedings]

 
The following notification by the Berlin Regional Court (Landgericht) of 1965 was taken from the restitution proceedings' file. Copies provided by courtesy of Manfred Baumgardt.
This was appendix 3 to the report given by the Magnus Hirschfeld Society to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) for the Washington Conference on Holocaust Era Assets on the insufficient restitution for the loss of the Institute for Sexual Science.

Copy

Berlin Regional Court (Landgericht)

1 Berlin 30, January 25, 1965
Am Karlsbad 6
External telephone 12 16 11
Internal: (95)4271
Transaction number:
(Please note on all correspondence.)

(144 WGK) 82 WGA 1269/50 (110/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1270/50 (112/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1271/50 (114/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1272/50 (116/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1277/50 (118/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1278/50 (120/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1279/50 (122/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1280/50 (124/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1281/50 (126/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1282/50 (128/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1284/50 (130/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1286/50 (132/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1283/50 (204/60) - (144 WGK) 82 WGA 1285/50 (278/60) [*]

In all of the proceedings stated at the top of this document, the following are herewith consulted as parties entitled to make claims henceforth according to Article 50, Paragraph 5, REAG:

  1. the General Trusteeship Organization (Allgemeine Treuhand-Organisation, ATO)
  2. the Jewish Restitution Successor Organisation (IRSO)

The restitution division notifies the consultants of the following information:

All of the proceedings stated at the top of this document were initiated on the basis of one claim from a non-entitled party received by the main trustee for the reimbursement property on May 15, 1950. All non-entitled parties and their claims in all of the aforementioned proceedings have since received final dismissals.

In the individual proceedings, the following claims made against the German Reich are at issue:

144 WGK 110.60:
an alleged claim from Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld made against Hermann Hirschfeld, Berlin SW 11, Halleschestr. 21, for a loan allegedly given in February 1933 in the amount of 8,000 Reichsmarks (RM);
144 WGK 112.60 :
an alleged credit balance and deposit belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, at the Deutsche Bank, Deposit office A, Berlin W 8, Mauerstr. 26/27, without further details;
144 WGK 114.60 :
an alleged credit balance belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, at the Deutsche Bank, deposit office B, Berlin N 54, Hackescher Markt 2/3 - in a separate account no. 19620 - without further details;
144 WGK 116.60 :
an alleged credit balance belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, in a separate account "Institute," as well as the objects located in the depository at the Deutsche Bank, Berlin W 8, Mauerstr. 26/27;
144 WGK 118.60 :
alleged royalties and other income belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, claimed against the chemical factory "Promonta" in Hamburg 26, Hammer Landstrasse 162-178 - without further details;
144 WGK 120.60 :
an alleged credit balance belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, at the national giro office (Postscheckamt) in Berlin NW 7 - account no. 21803 and no. 155996
144 WGK 122.60 :
alleged mortgage interest and income to which Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld had claim, from the chemical export company Vauka, Patentex, in Frankfurt/Main, Eppenheimerlandstrasse 51;
144 WGK 124.60 :
an alleged unknown amount of money which Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld had deposited with the attorney Dr. Walter Niemann, Berlin W 10, Friedrich-Wilhelmstr. 6;
144 WGK 126.60 :
claims to securities which were deposited at the main Reichsbank for securities (Reichshauptbank für Wertpapiere) - account book 315 5 63 - for the benefit of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld or for the benefit of the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation;
144 WGK 128.60 :
half of the royalties and income to which either Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld or the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation had claim from the chemical-pharmaceutical factory "Titus," Berlin-Pankow, Hiddenseestr. 10;
144 WGK 130.60 :
the alleged credit balance belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld in account no. 6183 at the national giro office (Postscheckamt) Berlin;
144 WGK 132.60 :
the alleged credit balance belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld at the Wertheim-Bank A.G., Berlin W 9, Leipzigerstr. 126;
144 WGK 204.60 :
the alleged rights and shares from the contracts between Dr. Schapiro, M.D., Berlin NW, In den Zelten 9a and 10, and the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation;
144 WGK 278.60:
the alleged claims to payment from an insurance contract which Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld held with the Allianz and Stuttgarter Versicherung A.G. (Insurance certificate no. K 25101).

In a further proceeding which has since been terminated finally - (144 WGK) 8 WGA 1276.50 (115.55) -, concerning the real estate at Berlin NW, In den Zelten 9 a, which had formerly belonged to the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation, ATO and IRSO have already agreed that the ATO is capable of suing on behalf of the foundation (cf. IRSO document of October 26, 1953 = page 82 of these files, as well as ATO legal documents of September 3, 1953, and September 22, 1953 = pages 69 and 73 of these files).

Accordingly, the real estate at In den Zelten 9 a was also restored to the ATO in these files. In these legal documents, it was further disclosed that the ATO is capable of suing in the proceeding 8 WGA 1283.50 = 144 WGK 204.60 as well as in two further proceedings which are not of interest here.

Based on this, the restitution division requests that both trusteeship companies check whether the claims in all of the aforementioned proceedings could be entrusted to one of the companies (joint confirmation). It would then not be necessary for the restitution division to check whether the claims concern Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld or the Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation. Furthermore, handling the matter in this way would be practical, especially since the claims thus far appear to be very doubtful, particularly with regard to 14, Paragraph 3, German Restitution Law (BRüG).

As further information, the restitution division notifies the consultants of the following:

According to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld's last will and testament, as identified by the enclosed estate files from the AG Charlottenburg - 60 VI 100 and 101.59, his heirs are

  1. Mr. Karl Giese
  2. Mr. Li Shiu Tong.

Neither of the heirs named has responded to the proceedings to date. The former executor of the will of the estate of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, Dr. F. Herzfelder, Esq., Paris, 16 rue Saint Vincent de Paul, reported the following information on January 18, 1965, regarding Karl Giese (page 133 in 144 WGK 110.60):

"a) Mr. Karl Giese's last place of residence was in Brno (Brünn), Strelecka 8. He took his life there on March 16, 1938. I am not in possession of a death certificate.

b) Mr. Giese was not Jewish. Beyond that, his religion is not known to me.

c) According to the reports which I received shortly after Mr. Giese's death from Dr. Joseph Weisskopf in Brno-Kval, Pole, Srbska 15, Dr. Karl FEIN, an attorney in Brno 6, Masaryka, became Mr. Giese's sole heir. According to reports which I received after the war, Dr. Fein died during deportation. I was not able to trace his heirs.

Unfortunately, I am no longer in possession of any documents regarding these events."

The other heir, however, was notified by the Berlin restitution office of all of the aforementioned claims. After many attempts, the Berlin restitution office succeeded in ascertaining his address in Switzerland (which was expressly to be kept secret). Despite the fact that Li Shiu Tong was notified via registered mail/return receipt on August 8, 1958, (cf. page 31 in 144 WGK 112.60) that claims had been made by a non-entitled party, he never responded to the proceedings. Registration records in Zurich show that he moved to Hong Kong shortly thereafter. No further contact with him could be established. Applying the principles of the highest restitution court (ORG/A/1966), the trusteeship company which is responsible must therefore also be consulted in the case of Li Shiu Tong, according to Article 50, Paragraph 5, REAO: because, after all, no one can be forced against his will (this follows from his behavior) by a non-entitled party to take legal proceedings.

The individual proceedings mentioned above are still largely unsubstantiated to date. The parties who had advanced the claims had only an order of the Gestapo - E 11/33 - from February 2, 1934 - stating that the items of property named in the individual proceedings were to be confiscated, according to 1 of the regulation (VO) of February 28, 1933. (cf. pages 18 to 21 in 144 WGK 110.60).

Furthermore, because of the regulation in 14, Paragraph 3, German Restitution Law (BRüG), it is doubtful whether a trusteeship company can derive claims from one of the aforementioned proceedings. However, because the claims were advanced before June 30, 1950, the restitution division was obligated to consult the trusteeship companies, because only their further report on the matter can provide final clarification on whether natural restitution claims are possible.

In the meantime, the following traces have been conducted:

  1. Information from the Deutsche Bank from March 7, 1955 (page 6 in 112.60):

    By the end of the war, there was no account or deposit belonging to Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld at the Deutsche Bank, either at the city's central office, department A, or at deposit cashdesk B.

  2. Letters from the chemical factory "Promonta" corporation, Hamburg, from May 16 and May 27, 1955 (cf. pages 5/6 and page 20 in 144 WGK 118.50):

    Royalties for the time period from 1935 to June 30, 1938, in the amount of 12,175.20 Reichsmarks (RM) were paid to an unknown recipient. The royalties which became due beginning on July 1, 1938, were paid with compensation in the amount of 7,000 Reichsmarks (RM) - again to an unknown recipient;

  3. Requests to the national giro office (Postscheckamt) (page 4 in 144 WGK 120.60 and page 5 in 144 WGK 130.60) have remained unanswered to date;
  4. Traces for the chemical export corporation Vauka Patentex were negative to date (cf. page 5 in 144 WGK 122.60);
  5. The attorney Dr. Walter Niemann has since died, according to information from the German bar association (Rechtsanwaltskammer) (cf. page 4 in 144 WGK 124.60);
  6. Traces for securities at the archive of the securities office of the former Reich finance ministry (Reichsfinanzministerium - Wertpapierstelle) were negative (cf. page 6 in 144 WGK 126.60);
  7. The "Titus" chemical-pharmaceutical factory has been dissolved (cf. page 6 in 144 WGK 128.60);
  8. Hermann Hirschfeld was forced to pay the claim brought against him (allegedly to the Berlin chief of police), according to his statement of October 25 (??) (page 17 in 144 WGK 110.60).

The trusteeship company which is responsible, or, if no agreement is reached, both trusteeship companies which are responsible, are herewith requested to substantiate henceforth the claims at stake, providing that these claims are not renounced.

The restitution division requests that the proceedings be brought to an end as soon as possible.

Grünler, head of the regional court

 

certified

(Walter)

Judicial Officer


[*]Translator's note: WGK = Wiedergutmachungskammer, restitution division of the Berlin regional court (Landgericht). WGA = Wiedergutmachungsamt, restitution office

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