Official Presentations, Reports and Speeches:

Rapport du Conseil du Patrimoine privé de la ville de Paris relatif aux spoliations (Report of the Council on the Private Heritage of the City of Paris on Spoliation) 16 November 1998

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Title
Rapport du Conseil du Patrimoine privé de la ville de Paris relatif aux spoliations (Report of the Council on the Private Heritage of the City of Paris on Spoliation)

Date
16 November 1998

Description
This report is the result of a widespread investigation into the spoliation of Jewish property by the Vichy regime in Paris during World War II. The report deals with particular questions regarding cultural property in the Ville de Paris, and namely Jewish property.

The period under scrutiny falls between 10 July 1940 and 25 August 1944, the date the Allies liberated Paris. The archives used by the Conseil du Patrimoine for the research were fonds 1900 W, Archives des services d'acquisition de la Préfecture de la Seine, Archives de France and AJ38 and the Archives du Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives. 2,500 searches into the origin of properties were carried out with investigations of 4,000 files.

It was established that less than two percent of the housing which belongs to the Ville de Paris was purchased during World War II. Most of the Ville's assets were purchased before and after this period. In îlot 16, a Jewish district, of 224 properties only 12 were described as belonging to Jews by the Vichy administration. For these an administrator was nominated by the Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives, in compliance with the law of 21 July 1941 "relative aux entreprises, biens et valeurs appartenant aux Juifs". The role of the provisional administrators was to manage the seized properties or sell them to "Aryans". The proceeds from the sales of seized assets were put in blocked bank accounts (n. 501 and 511) opened at the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations in the name of the owners.

Two more properties are suspected to have been confiscated from Jews by the Vichy administration, though no documents survive to prove this. In the area known as "Fortifications" it was found that of 3,253 purchases by the Ville de Paris between 1940 and 1944 only 26 were considered by the Vichy authorities to have belonged to Jews. But the researchers identified 192 further proprietors who were victims of antisemitic discrimination by the Vichy government.

After the liberation of Paris, new legislation was promulgated by the Comité Français de la Libération Nationale of the Provisional Government of the French Republic: Ordinances of 12 November 1943, of 14 November 1944 and of 21 April 1945. This legislation served the purpose of reparations for spoliated citizens.

The ordinance of 21 April 1945 declared the spoliations null and void: "Les personnes physiques ou morales ou leurs ayants-cause dont les biens, droits ou intérêts ont été l'objet, même avec leur concours matériel, d'actes de disposition accomplis en conséquence de mesures de séquestre, d'administration provisoire, de gestion, de liquidation, de confiscation ou de toutes autres mesures exorbitantes du droit commun en vigueur au 16 juin 1940 et accomplis soit en vertu des prétendus lois, décrets et arrêtés, règlements ou décisions de l'autorité de fait se disant gouvernement de l'Etat français, soit par l'ennemi, sur son ordre ou sous son inspiration pourront, sur le fondement tant de l'ordonnance du 12 novembre 1943 relative à la nullité des actes de spoliations accomplis par l'ennemi ou sous son contrôle, que de l'ordonnance du 9 août 1944 relative au rétablissement de la légalité républicaine sur le territoire continental, en faire constater la nullité. Cette nullité est de droit."

The ordinance excluded expropriations of property which had been carried out in the public interest ("expropriation pour cause d'utilité publique").

The research came to the conclusion that all but two of the properties acquired from Jewish owners by the Ville de Paris were purchased in the public interest.

Publishing Information
Conseil du Patrimoine Privé de la Ville de Paris avec le concours de son Groupe d'experts, Les acquisitions immobilieres de la ville de Paris entre 1940 et 1944 sont-elles le produit de spoliations? Paris, 16 November 1998.
http://www.paris.fr/FR/La_Mairie/executif/communiques/ancienne_
mandature/mandature_1995_2001/patrimoine.htm
>

Source
A transcript of this report is accessible in French on the official city of Paris website
<http://www.paris.fr/FR/La_Mairie/executif/communiques/ancienne_
mandature/mandature_1995_2001/patrimoine.htm
>, accessed 15 January

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