A Holocaust Reparations Settlement Makes Its Way to South Jersey
Within the next few weeks, Barbara Principe, a 73-year-old South Jersey woman who still lives near the chicken farm where she grew up, will begin receiving payments from millions of dollars in real estate in the former East Berlin.
The land was lost to her family 67 years ago. It was then, when Ms. Principe was 6, that she and her brother were rushed out of Berlin in the dead of night by their mother and their father, a partner in the family-owned department store chain, A. Wertheim, a leading high-end retailer.
At that time, Hitler's "aryanization" of businesses in Germany was forcing Jews to turn their companies over to non-Jews, and the threat of concentration camps and death hung over all Jews who remained in the country.
Last month, Germany's restitution court, set up after World War II to provide restitution for property seized during the Nazi regime, validated the claim of the Wertheim heirs, Ms. Principe and about 24 others, to a number of properties owned by her father's department store chain. Those properties are now valued at about $350 million.
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