Fürth-Perl and Fürth-Strasser v Germany

CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Arbitral Commission on Property, Rights and Interests in Germany, Third Chamber.

(Lagergren, Vice-President; Arndt, Phenix.)

Fürth-Perl and Fürth-Strasser
and
German Federal Republic.

Nationality — Acquisition of — United States of America — Naturalization —“First papers”— Whether conferring United States nationality.

Nationality — Denationalization — Nazi legislation — Non-recognition of validity of — Convention with Germany on the Settlement of Matters Arising out of the War and Occupation, 1952–1954 — Application by Arbitral Commission.

Treaties of peace — Analogous instruments — Convention with German Federal Republic on Settlement of Matters Arising out of the War and Occupation, 1952–1954 — Chapter Ten — Restitution — Restoration of rights and interests — Situs of such rights and interests — Conditions laid down in Convention for restoration — Nationality of claimant — Choice-of-law system of the Arbitral Commission.

The Facts (as stated by the Commission).—“This is an appeal to the Arbitral Commission under Article 12, paragraph 1 (a), of Chapter Ten of the Settlement Convention from the decision of the Federal Restitution Office [Bundesamt für die Prüfung ausländischer Rückgabe- und Wiederherstellungsansprüche] dated September 30, 1957, rejecting complainants' claim for return of or compensation for property allegedly confiscated by the German authorities during the Second World War.

“Complainants, by letter received on April 30, 1956, by the Federal Restitution Office, asserted their claim for 40, 250 Reichsmark corresponding to a balance of K. 402,500 in account No. 17481 at the head office of the Zivnostenska Banka in Prague, which balance had been taken by the German authorities on or about April 6, 1944, and transferred first to Vienna and thereafter to Berlin. The account had belonged to the complainant's father, a former national of Czechoslovakia, Dr. Ernst Jakob Fürth, who died on January 4, 1943, leaving the complainants as sole successors to his estate.

“In a letter dated April 22, 1957, also addressed to the Federal Restitution Office, Mrs. Eva Fürth-Perl submits that both complainants were Czechoslovakian nationals by birth, that they both married Hungarians, and subsequently emigrated to the United States [of America] in 1939, in which year they also received their so-called ‘First Papers’ (Declaration of Intention to become United States citizens).

“In its decision the Federal Restitution Office recognized that the bank account...

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