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Lex Schwarzenberg effective for 70 years

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Prague, July 9 (CTK) – The law known as Lex Schwarzenberg, by which the Czechoslovak parliament nationalised the property of the Hluboka branch of the Schwarzenberg aristocratic family in 1947, has been effective for 70 years, though the family’s heir Alzbeta Pezold has been claiming its abolition for many years.

Lex Schwarzenberg was exceptional in that it concerned particular people whose real estate, furnishings, livestock and capital was expropriated without any compensation. The aristocratic family thus lost palaces in Prague’s centre, the Hluboka and Cesky Krumlov chateaux and other property in south Bohemia.

After the Czechoslovak communist regime fell in 1989, Pezold started claiming the return of the family property and the abolition of the law. However, she could not get the property according to the Czech restitution law because this law concerned real estate seized after the communist coup in February 1948. Lex Schwarzenberg was passed on July 10, 1947. Pezold filed a lot of complaints with Czech courts, arguing that this law violated the constitution.

Pezold has been unsuccessful in her legal battle for a long time, but in January 2009 the Czech Constitutional Court issued a verdict based on which she could get the family tomb in Domanin, south Bohemia. But as a tomb is a specific construction, the verdict cannot be applied to the other claimed real estate. The dispute over the former Schwarzenberg property remains open.

In February 2017, a district court rejected the complaint in which Pezold claimed the heritage of the Hluboka branch of the family which had not been nationalised. Pezold appealed against the verdict. This property is owned by Karel Schwarzenberg, former Czech foreign minister, who is also the heir of the Orlik branch of the family. As the property of the Orlik branch was nationalised after February 1948, it was returned to Schwarzenberg within the restitution law in the 1990s.

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