The Jewish Trust Corporation was set up after World War II in the British occupation zone of Germany to bring about the restitution or compensation for heirless Jewish property in that zone.
The primary task of the JTC was to locate within an 18-month time limit property that had remained unclaimed after June 30, 1950, the deadline established by the Restitution Law for the British Zone for claims by the original owners or their heirs. Declarations by Germans who had purchased Jewish property were not forthcoming; therefore 70% of JTC's claims for real estate resulted from its own search activities. Not a single item of former communal and organizational property remained undiscovered. The JTC initiated proceedings before restitution courts for the recovery in natura of property claimed by it, or arrived at cash settlements with those who had acquired it under the Nazi regime. Certain claims (those resulting from mass confiscatory measures of the Third Reich) were settled in bulk with the Federal German Republic and other claims (damage to former Jewish communal organizational property) with the Länder, or with Hamburg and Berlin.
In the first years of the organization's activity the JTC main office for Germany was in Hamburg. In addition there were four regional offices: Hamburg, Hannover and two offices in Mühlheim (one for the Rhine and one for the Ruhr area). Matters for the British Sector in Berlin were handled by the JRSO office there. After 1955 all the work was concentrated in one office in Mühlheim. In June 1962 this last office in Germany was closed and all the administration, bookkeeping and other important files were transferred to the London office, as well as files of unsolved restitution and equity cases. The files of settled cases were stored in Hamburg. From then on work was carried out in London, while a small "Abwicklungsstelle" in Hamburg dealt with negotiations still in progress with the Federal German Government.
In the 1970s the main work of the JTC was completed. The Hamburg office was closed in about 1975 and the files were transferred to the CAHJP. In about 1980 the JTC office in London closed, and the administration and personal files were deposited in Jerusalem. The JTC collection in the CAHJP consist of the administration files from London and Hamburg, which are open to the public, and several categories of personal files regarding restitution from the London office as well as the various German offices. These are still closed in order to protect privacy rights.
The JTC collection in the CAHJP consist of the administration files from London and Hamburg, which are open to the public, and several categories of personal files regarding restitution from the London office as well as the various German offices. These are still closed in order to protect privacy rights.
This archival project has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.