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Last Call for Claims to Scheme Compensating Victims of Nazis for Property Confiscated in WWII

The government is consulting on a final date for the closure of schemes compensating individuals whose assets were confiscated by the UK government where they had suffered Nazi persecution

  • The Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel (EPCAP) has been assessing claims of confiscated property for decades

  • over £25 million of compensation has been paid to individuals

  • government to consult on a date to close the scheme

The UK government has made a final call for claims for compensation for those who had property confiscated during World War II.

For more than 20 years the Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel (EPCAP) has been compensating individuals whose assets were confiscated by the UK government where they had suffered Nazi persecution. The Panel also oversee the Baltic States Scheme.

Today, the government is launching a consultation on a final date for closure of the schemes, which have provided over £25 million of compensation over the course of their operation.

To date, EPCAP has considered more than 1200 applications for compensation, but in recent years the numbers of claims submitted has fallen substantially. Other comparable compensation schemes across Europe concluded their operations many years ago.

Those who have received compensation under the scheme have included a non-Jewish doctor who risked his life to help Jewish colleagues and was forced to flee his home, the family of an art collector who perished in the Holocaust, while his collection was sold off for profit, and Jewish people who fled from France to South America.

The government will now consult on a final date for claims to be submitted, with a provisional date set for 9 September 2022, pending response to the consultation. Potential claimants will be able to lodge claims throughout the consultation period.

Business Minister Paul Scully said:

These schemes, universally recognised as among the most generous to operate worldwide, have offered hundreds of people rightful compensation for the horrors they faced during the Second World War, at the hands of Nazis and other totalitarian oppressors.
The Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel have done amazing work in the past 2 decades or so, but the scheme is now drawing to a natural conclusion. I would urge anyone who has yet to make their claim to do so now, to ensure everyone receives the compensation they are entitled to.

EPCAP Panel Chair Arthur Harverd said:

The EPCAP Scheme has been a vitally important UK government initiative, providing the families of those who suffered Nazi persecution with a sense that at long last justice has been done, the suffering endured by their forebears has been recognised and closure achieved.
Panel colleagues have worked tirelessly in evaluating the details of every claim and we are thankful for the support of successive ministers and officials at BEIS and the dedicated assistance of the members of the EPCAP Secretariat in support of the scheme.
The overwhelming majority of the original owners of the assets concerned have of course now died and very few new claims are being received. We therefore believe that this is an appropriate time to consult on closing the schemes, while allowing for new claims still to be received up to the date of actual closure.

During the period of the Second World War the UK government confiscated assets in British territories owned by residents of enemy countries, including the former Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan and countries occupied by them, under the Trading with the Enemy Act 1939.

There are 2 schemes administered by the Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel:

  • Enemy Property Payments Scheme: under this Scheme the criterion for eligibility for compensation is that either the person who was the owner of the UK asset at the time it was confiscated by the UK government or the claimant (who must prove his or her relationship to such owner) must have suffered Nazi persecution, either through discriminatory legislation or action in pursuance of de facto state policy taken by the relevant enemy state

  • the Baltic States Scheme: this Scheme applies to any resident of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who had deposited assets in the UK before the War. Nazi persecution is not essential for the return of original confiscated asset

Individuals who believe that they or a direct relation may have held or deposited assets in the UK that were then confiscated by the UK government are encouraged to make their claim to EPCAP. Both Schemes are administered by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Any individuals or organisations who would like to respond to the consultation for a final date for the EPCAP scheme can do so.

Notes to Editors

  • For more information and to make a claim please refer to the EPCAP publicity notice or via the GOV.UK page.

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