Asset Recovery and Pending Claims


The Successor Organization generated revenue of approximately $37 million from sales, compensation, investment priority decisions, and other items in 2015. This revenue is net of certain payments and costs directly connected with these items.

Most of the regular income in 2015 came from sales and compensation, which produced approximately $34 million. Most properties recovered by the Claims Conference are sold at public auction.

Furthermore, the Claims Conference received rental income prior to the sale of properties of approximately $300,000. Expenses relating to the maintenance of property pending sale were approximately $109,000.

Total Successor Organization gross income since 1993 (sales, compensation, Wertheim, bulk settlements and property management) up to December 31, 2015 is approximately €2.5 billion. The majority of these funds have been distributed to Goodwill Fund applicants/heirs or allocated for social welfare programs benefiting Nazi victims or for other programs.

Claims and Types of Recovery

Claims filed by the Claims Conference fall into two major categories:

  • Real estate
    These are claims for real estate formerly owned by individuals.
  • Businesses
    These are claims relating to a former business and generally consist of claims that receive a compensation payment only.

The German restitution agencies processed the claims on the largest and most valuable properties first. This means, that the properties to be recovered and sold in the future will generate less revenue than previously recovered properties. The income to date includes unique claims such as those relating to the Wertheim family.

Further, a large part of the processing by the German authorities for real estate claims has taken place and the processing of business assets is now under way. Recovery of a business asset usually generates a compensation payment that is far lower than the value of a recovered real estate claim.

The following are the major forms of recovery of assets by the Claims Conference:

  • Restitution
    This is the return of an actual item of property. The Claims Conference has a well-developed procedure for selling such properties.
  • Compensation
    This is a compensation payment for a property which is not recoverable or for a business no longer in existence. Generally, compensation payments are for lower amounts than the value of restituted assets. Smaller types of recovery and claim are for certain cash assets, moveable assets or mortgages.

As of March 31, 2017, the Claims Conference had filed 124,569 claims covering real estate and businesses as well as additional claims for smaller types of assets. These smaller claims are being handled separately from the real estate and business claims. For the real estate and business claims, the German restitution authorities have issued decisions on 113,129 claims. Therefore, decisions have been issued in 90 percent of the claims. Of the 113,129 decisions, 16,446 have been approved for the Claims Conference (14 percent).

Of the rulings in favor of the Claims Conference, restitution (actual return of the property) was awarded in 4,481 (27 percent), and compensation ordered in 11,965 cases (73 percent) i.e. where restitution was not possible or where the business is no longer in existence.

Assets/Potential Assets

There are three categories of assets or potential assets that could be recovered by the Claims Conference Successor Organization.

1. Restituted Properties and Compensation – Receivables.
Where the economic title in respect to the sale of a property has passed or it has received a confirmation of value from the Regional Tax Authorities with respect to compensation claim, the amount is regarded as an appropriate and reasonable indication of value and therefore is included in the financial statements.

The Financial Statements of 2015 include the following approximate amounts:

  • Receivable from the Sale of Property $500,000
  • Property Compensation Receivable: $4.6 million

2. Properties That Have Been Recovered But Not Sold

As of December 31, 2015 the estimated value of unsold property as audited, after taking into account commitments, is approximately $2.1 million.

3. Claims Pending

The following are the numbers for the major categories* of claims as of
March 31, 2017:

Total Claims Decided Cases Positive Decisions
Real Estate 56,768 52,979 8,753 (17%)
Business 67,801 60,150 7,693 (13%)
Total 124,569 113,129 16,446 (15%)

The following are the numbers for the major categories of open claims as of March 31, 2017:

Open Claims
Real Estate 3,879 (33%)
Business 7,651 (67%)
Total 11,440

*Not included are smaller types of claim for certain cash assets, moveable assets or mortgages.

Updated May 10, 2017