Government Bodies :

The Department for Economic Recovery (DER)

The Department of Economic Recovery (DER)

16 November 1944

After the liberation of Belgium, restitution of Jewish spoliated property fell within the province of three departments:

  • The Department of the Sequestration of Enemy Goods (goods sequestrated as security for the damage inflicted by the occupying forces to the national heritage) established by Decree 23 August 1944
  • The Department for Economic Recovery (DER) (responsible for implementing the Allied agreements concerning German restitution and compensation for war damage) established by Decree dated 16 November 1944
  • The Department for War Damage (a department of the Ministry of Public Works and Reconstruction dealing with war damage to private goods) established by Decree law of 19 November 1945

    Only a small section of the DER was occupied with the recovery of stolen artwork and objects of cultural value. Few items were actually restored due to a lack of systematic tracing. Many of the Jewish owned artworks and cultural objects were sold off, with the proceeds going to the Belgian State Treasury. Some items found their way into museums.

    Study Commission on Jewish Assets, <> accessed 27 November 2002