US High Commissioner for Germany v Gershon [Germany (United States Zone of Occupation), United States Court of Appeals.]

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Date27 m 1951
Docket NumberCase No. 176
Germany (United States Zone of Occupation), United States Court of Appeals.
Case No. 176
United States High Commissioner for Germany
and
Gershon.

Belligerent Occupation — In General — Status of Members of Occupation Forces — Persons Enjoying such Status — Whether Official of International Refugee Organization in Occupied Germany Entitled to Claim Status of Member of “Allied Forces”.

The Facts.—By an agreement between the International Refugee Organization (IRO) and the United States Commander-in-Chief in the United States Zone of Germany it was provided that all officials of the IRO in occupied Germany were to be subject to the over-all supervision of the occupation authorities and were to enjoy the same privileges and immunities as civilian employees of the occupation forces. The appellant, an official of the IRO who was stationed in Germany, arranged for about 40 pounds of gold bullion to be sent to him from the United States. Ordinarily the importation of the gold would have been a criminal offence, but an Allied High Commission law provided that members of the Allied Forces were entitled to import “tangible property” into the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany unless such property was intended for resale, in which case the importation would also constitute a criminal offence if undertaken by members of the Allied Forces.

Held: that the appellant was a member of the Allied Forces within the meaning of the Allied High Commission Law here referred to. The following extract from the judgment of the Court is only concerned with this particular point:1

“The provisions of AHC Law No. 40 are applicable to ‘members of the Allied Forces’. All of the penal provisions of the law specifically refer to that category of persons.2 Whether or not the appellant is a person subject to the penal previsions of this law depends upon the definition of ‘Allied Forces’. This term is defined to include the ‘Occupation Authorities’ which, in turn, include the Council of the Allied High Commission, the High Commission and the Allied Organizations and persons exercising power on their behalf.3

“We believe that the International Refugee Organization (IRO) is an agency exercising such a power on behalf of the occupation authorities and as such is included within the terms ‘Occupation Authorities’ and ‘Allied Forces’, as those expressions are used in the law containing the official definitions with which we are here concerned.4 By an agreement dated 28 July 1948 between...

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