web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



German Jewish Family Fighting 22 Years to Reclaim Its Land

German-American non-Jewish attorney Peter Sonnenthal and his family, which has Jewish roots (his grandmother was Jewish and perished in Auschwitz) have been fighting for more than two decades to reclaim lucrative properties stolen from them under the Nazi regime, Spiegel reported, adding that Sonnenthal continues to face legal hurdles in trying to restore this legacy.

Sonnenthal, who worked in the 1980s for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was feared and loathed by swindlers. For the past 22 years, he has been using his tenacity and legal skills fighting in German courts for the restitution of property in the German state of Brandenburg, just outside Berlin, that belongs to his family.

At stake are 250 acres of prime real estate in the upscale Berlin suburb of Teltow, some 1,000 properties altogether, worth millions of euros.

Sonnenthal’s court battles began in 1991, when he was 37, and his case has since made its way through a maze of German courts, starting with the local and state offices for unresolved property issues, up to the Brandenburg Higher State Administrative Court, then five hearings before the German Federal Administrative Court, then the German Finance Ministry, then it was finally appealed before the German Federal Constitutional Court, Germany’s highest judicial body.

Despite minor victories, Spiegel remarks, Sonnenthal has repeatedly run into obstacles over two decades of litigation.

Sonnenthal is angry, to say the least. “Historical facts are being denied, the law is being abused, and the Nazis of Teltow are being vindicated after the fact,” he says.

According to Sonnenthal, everything has to be contested in court and absolutely no concessions are made. “This is offensive to the family,” he says. “Our property was stolen, and now we have to justify ourselves.”

Robert Unger, whose law office has been representing Sonnenthal for years, says that he has never experienced a case like this. “The town of Teltow’s claim that – after 60 years of living and developing their land in Teltow – the family voluntarily decided to transfer their entire property to a Nazi is absurd and grotesque. It’s a disgrace,” he says.

Teltow’s mayor Thomas Schmidt contends that his town does not have a political agenda in the case. He notes that a forest has grown on the properties that Sonnenthal intends to reclaim, arguing that some of the land now falls within nature conservation areas. In other words, since the stolen properties had fallen into neglect in the hands of the thieves, to the point where they were reclaimed by the forest – the victims can no longer have a claim to them.

Even the ten or so properties Sonnenthal has been able to reacquire remained a source of frustration to him, since local courts won’t allow him to build duplexes on them. Once again, the joke is on him, comments Spiegel, but Sonnenthal isn’t laughing.

About the Author: JewishPress.com brings you the latest in Jewish news from around the world. Stay up to date by following up on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have something noteworthy to report? Submit your news story to us here.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

6 Responses to “German Jewish Family Fighting 22 Years to Reclaim Its Land”

  1. "He notes that a forest has grown on the properties that Sonnenthal intends to reclaim, arguing that some of the land now falls within nature conservation areas. In other words, since the stolen properties had fallen into neglect in the hands of the thieves, to the point where they were reclaimed by the forest – the victims can no longer have a claim to them."

    Seems a lot like what Jews did to the Arabs in Israel.

  2. Maryann Ciesla Lempert says:

    This has happened throughout history. The "victor" gets the spoils. America did it to the Native Americans, the Nazis did it to the Jews, the Jews it to the Palestinians, etc. If it can be turned around, we would have to rewrite history.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What kind of chaplain is stogumber? The Bible tells us the land of Israel belongs to the Jew's. The UN did not create Israel. G-D created Israel. Mustafa has 22 nations, most created in 1918. Jew's have one Nation created by G-D.

  4. Les Le Gear says:

    The chaplain is an arab troll.

  5. Yechiel Baum says:

    YOU ARE MISLEAD TO STATE ILLOGICALLY THAT THE JEWS DID IT TO THE PALESTINEANS SINCE THE JEW NEVER LEFT THE JEWISH STATE OF ISRAERL. THE GAZAN SQUATTERS ORIGINATED FROM EYGPT, AFRICA AND JORDAN AND SHOULD NOT BE ISRAEL'S PROBLEM BUT RATHER YOUR PROBLEM.

    IN THIS STORY, SINCE THE GRANDCHILD HAD A HINT OF JEWISH GENES, THE GERMANS STILL DENY THE PORTION OF HIS JEWISH BLOOD BACK HIS PROPERTY SINCE THE GERMANS STOLE IT FROM THE JEWS. THEY FEAR THAT EUROPE WOULD HAVE TO RETURN ALL JEWISH PROPERTY TO THEIR HEIRS.

    SINCE ABBAS, HEAD OF THE P.A. DELCARED jesus to be a palestinen, hence the vaticans and all church properties must be open for palestinean squatters to take those over.

  6. Maryann Ciesla Lempert says:

    Yechiel Baum I was only referring to those Palestinians who were born and raised in Israel. These people had a choice to stay under Israeli rule or leave. They chose to leave. The ones who left are not entitled to get their property back. Also, in the time of Jesus there were no Palestinians as we know them. The word Palestine was used interchangeably with Israel and was a Jewish state.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House, Oct. 1, 2014.
Netanyahu, Obama Focus on Different Priorities in White House Talk
Latest News Stories
Demonstrator holds ISIS flag on the ancient plaza of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.

A 14-year-old Dutch Muslim high school student is suspended after posting a video saying he is “from ISIS” and wants to “behead Jews.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets with US President Barack Obama at the White House, Oct. 1, 2014.

PM Netanyahu and US Pres. Obama met Wednesday evening for 75 minutes at the White House in Washington DC.

Palestinian Authority construction workers build homes for Jews in eastern Jerusalem.

Israel talks with building blocks. The Palestinian Authority throws them.

Peace partners for hate: Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (R) and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.

The Palestinian Authority continues to remove its mask and show it is Hamas in sheep’s clothing.

How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 U.N. General Assembly speech look through today’s lens?

“I think there’s no question that support for Israel will, I think, increase dramatically with the Republican leadership in the Senate,” Matthew Brooks, executive director of the RJC and the Jewish Policy Center think tank, told JNS.

As expected, one of the biggest themes throughout the week long UN gathering was a focus on the threat posed by Islamic State to the international world order, with nearly every major world leader mentioning the U.S.-led international efforts underway to combat the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

For diehard Jewish fans of “The Simpsons,” a Mourner’s Kaddish will be in order at this weekend’s Yom Kippur services.

A recent Jerusalem municipal decision regarding a virgin, angered ultra-Orthodox representatives.

B’Tselem is once again able to use Israel’s national service volunteers to attack Israel’s efforts at self-defense and sovereignty.

The soft-glove approach to campus anti-Zionists is more like a pat on the back.

Netanyahu had a lot to say to Ban, but there is no indication if anyone listened.

A Hareidi man performs the Kaparos ceremony for his son, in Beitar. The ritual, which some consider controversial, is performed before Yom Kippur, as part of the repentance process. A chicken is gently raised and waved over the head of a family member or yourself. The person performing the ritual says the following statement (or […]

BDS failed to #StoptheBoat at the Port of Long Beach. The ZIM Shanghai unloaded / reloaded and sailed on without a hitch.

More Articles from Jewish Press News Briefs
A Meah Shearim Street

A recent Jerusalem municipal decision regarding a virgin, angered ultra-Orthodox representatives.

The Port of Long Beach

BDS failed to #StoptheBoat at the Port of Long Beach. The ZIM Shanghai unloaded / reloaded and sailed on without a hitch.

An Israeli was lightly injured in a Arab drive-by attack near Ofra.

To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.

Israeli transportation and tourism employees will carry out a work slowdown on Wednesday in solidarity with striking postal workers.

A 30-year-old man is listed in serious condition after setting himself afire at the Savion Junction in central Israel on Tuesday.

The Zim Shanghai moored a short while ago at the Port of Los Angeles.

Children were rushed to bomb shelters in the Jerusalem neighborhood when Arabs began throwing explosives at the neighborhood and at Jewish toddlers playing near their nursery schools.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/german-jewish-family-fighting-22-years-to-reclaim-its-land/2013/12/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: