Welcome to the website of the Claimants Representative Committee.

The Claimants Representative Committee (CRC) is a committee of law firms and other business professionals who represent Nazi victims and their heirs who lost property in eastern Germany during the Nazi era (1933 to 1945). The CRC’s main activity is to represent Nazi victims and their heirs in obtaining the return of their property from a Jewish organization called The Conference on Material Claims Against Germany, Inc. (Claims Conference). Following the reunification of Germany in 1990, Germany passed a law called the Vermögensgesetz (Property Law) which permitted Nazi victims, or their heirs, to claim back the property which they had lost in the eastern part of Nazi Germany. Claims under the Property Law, had to be filed by December 31, 1992 for immovable property, and by June 30, 1993, for movable property. When the Nazi victims or their heirs did not file a timely claim, the Property Law named the Claims Conference as the legal successor and permitted it to pursue claims under the Property Law.

Since the Property Law was enacted in 1990, the Claims Conference recovered approximately 2.3 billion Euro in property which belonged to Nazi victims and has returned approximately 700 million Euro to the Nazi victims or their heirs through its Goodwill Fund program. The Claims Conference’s Goodwill Fund program paid out 80% of the individual assets which Nazi victims lost to the Nazi victims, or their heirs, however, with limited exceptions, this program closed on March 31, 2004.

In June, 2011, the CRC was founded and has met on several occasions with the Claims Conference with the goal of obtaining the reopening of the Goodwill Fund. As a result of these discussions, in late 2012, the Claims Conference announced the opening of a new fund, the Late Applicants Fund (LAF) with a limited amount of 50 million Euro. The Claims Conference’s LAF program opened for claims on January 1, 2013 and will close on December 31, 2014. Although a step in the right direction, the LAF program is more limited than the Goodwill Fund with respect to its payout to the heirs of Nazi victims. It provides for only a limited initial payment of only 25%, with a cap of 50,000 Euro per asset lost, and only gives a further payment if there are funds left over at the end of the 2014 filing period. For this the Claims Conference requires a release of all claims against the Claims Conference in exchange for the initial payment. LAF claimants must therefore give a release of claims, prior to knowing what they might receive for giving the Claims Conference their release.

The CRC believes that the LAF program is inadequately funded and is unfair to claimants who do not know how much of their property they will receive back from the Claims Conference. It has discussed the inadequacy of the LAF program on several occasions with the Claims Conference, however the Claims Conference has so far failed to remedy the problems with this program. Additionally, a German administrative court recently ruled that the Claims Conference is a trustee for Nazi victims, or their heirs, who lost this property. In response, the Claims Conference has continued to deny having this responsibility and has not changed its LAF program.

Recently, on October 7, 2013, the CRC filed a complaint with Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of the State of New York, asking him to investigate this matter (Complaint). CRC cited the recent German court decision and the Claims Conference’s breach of its fiduciary duty as a trustee to fairly and adequately account to and return this property to the heirs of Nazi victims. CRC also noted the possibility of fraud in the manner the Claims Conference is obtaining releases from the heirs of Nazi victims under its limited LAF program.

For further information see the following:

Complaint to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.           

Press release regarding NYAG Complaint.