Heirs of Reuter v German Federal Republic

Date16 Enero 1961
CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Arbitral Commission on Property, Rights and Interests in Germany (Second Chamber).

(Sauser-Hall, Vice-President; Schwandt, Marion.)

Heirs of Reuter
Federal Republic of Germany.

Alien Notion of For purposes of foreign exchange regulations The law of Germany.

Arbitration Procedure Competence Arbitral Commission on Property, Rights and Interests In Germany Whether competent to order measures other than those envisaged in Treaty establishing Commission.

Arbitration Award Arbitral Commission on Property, Rights and Interests in Germany Non-applicability of decision to non-participants in proceedings.

Disputes Negotiation Absence of duty to engage in.

Warfare on land Occupation of enemy territory Requisition of securities When effected.

War Effects of outbreak of On property of enemy subjects Discriminatory treatment Notion of German measures during Second World War Non-discriminatory nature of domestic Law As opposed to discriminatory application of such Law Restitution of property wrongfully seized.

The Facts (as stated by the Commission).

(1) By pleading of 12 September 1958, M. Antoine Saint-Germier, the representative of the Reuter heirs, submitted to the Arbitral Commission an application for review of the decision of the Bundesamt fr die Prfung auslndischer Rckgabe- und Wiederher-stellungsansprche (called Bundesamt) [Federal Office for Examination of Foreign Restitution Claims] dated 13 August 1958 (No. BA/Pr. 62/55) in the case of the heirs of the late Rudolf Florian Reuter at Baden-Baden, dismissing the latter's claim for restitution of their property and restoration of their rights and interests in the territory of the Federal Republic.

A. Facts

(2) On 28 July 1891 the Austrian national Rudolf Florian Reuter concluded before [a] notary public with the municipality of Baden-Baden a contract of deposit and donation which is incorrectly called foundation in the complainantspleading and which was governed at the time of conclusion by Articles 913, 920, 915, 1930, 1984 and 1991 of the Baden Civil Code (Badisches Landrecht).

By virtue of this contract, he handed over to the said municipality 6,500 3% Austrian South Railway debentures which were subsequently exchanged for 6,500 3.6 to 4.5% debentures (at variable interest) of the Danube-Save-Adriatic Railway Corporation; these securities were inalienable, and if they fell mature by lot they had to be replaced; the inalienability was made manifest by double stamping of the securities. Under this contract, the municipality had over these securities rights and obligations of custody and administration; it had undertaken vis--vis the depositor and donor to use the yield of these assets in compliance with the stipulations of the said contract which it accepted without reservations, after having obtained the necessary administrative authorisations such as were required at that time by the law of the Grand Duchy of Baden.

Pursuant to 3 of the contract, the municipality of Baden-Baden had to distribute among ten poor families of Baden-Baden the yield of 308 securities after deduction of its administration fees; pursuant to 4, the yield of the remaining 6,192 securities had to be paid, during his life-time, to the donor and depositor and after his death to his four children as well as to their possibly surviving spouses; after the death of these first beneficiaries the capital should be distributed, if there were any grandchildren of Rudolf Florian Reuter, in the proportion of 1/10 to the municipality of Baden-Baden and 9/10 to the grandchildren; if there were no grandchildren the capital should be shared out to the municipality of Baden-Baden and a foundation, Emil Reuter, Neuendorf (in Prussia), at the rate of 1/3 for the former and 2/3 for the latter.

(3) Rudolf Florian Reuter died in 1930, leaving four children of French nationality and residing in France; they are all dead by now. The widow [of] Josef Saint-Germier, born Mathilde-Ludovica Reuter, the last surviving of the children of Rudolf Florian Reuter, died on 2 March 1956, after the institution of proceedings before the Bundesamt; she it was who since 1930 distributed the yields among the persons entitled, and it is her son, M. Antoine Saint-Germier, who presently represents the grandchildren...

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