A descendant of a German prince is fighting a legal battle against Berlin to recover property “stolen” by the SS chief, Heinrich Himmler, after his grandfather aided in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler.
Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth V’s family has waged a 30-year legal battle to get back land in the eastern German state of Brandenburg. He claims it was seized by the Nazis due to his father’s major role in the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, known as ‘Operation Valkyrie’ and involving many top brass.
German authorities have been reluctant to acknowledge the family’s right, arguing that the estate was either voluntarily handed over to the Nazi regime or confiscated by the East German authorities under a land reform program long after the World War II. Prince Friedrich accuses German authorities, however, of covering up Nazi crimes.
“It is iniquitous that my family’s property remains sequestered by the German state who prefer to uphold torture, murder and theft by a regime widely accepted as one of the most evil and corrupt in modern history,”He spoke to the Times of Israel before a second court hearing regarding his case.
Solms Baruth V thinks his case might open up opportunities for victims of Nazism, like German Jews, to get their property back. He believes his case could serve as a test for modern Germany. “really learned the lessons from its dark past.”
His grandfather, he claims, had long-standing hatred of Hitler. “completely against”You “even before he came to power.”He claimed that Brandenburg was the best estate for the “perfect cover”to be used as a gathering ground by the plotters of anti-Nazi coups in 1944.
Rupert Allason (ex-MP in the UK) confirmed that there was an estate. “the headquarters of the preparations”Friedrich claimed that the July plot was a ploy. Friedrich said that his grandfather was forced to give over the estate by the Gestapo secret Police after his coup attempt failed.
The family presented no evidence to the German authorities, and the German authorities rejected written testimony from another Operation Valkyrie plotter. This was despite having survived the Nazi crackdown. The Times of Israel reported that the prince stated to Times of Israel that the notion of land transfer being legal was “extremely cynical and absurd.”
If the legal remedies in Germany prove unsuccessful, the family intends to appeal to Europe’s Court of Human Rights. There are thought to be between 10,000 and 20,000 similar cases in Germany’s restitution archives.