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Court returns land to Walderode

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Semily, east Bohemia, Sept 12 (CTK) – A district court acknowledged the claim of Karl des Fours Walderode to some land in the Turnov area confiscated after the World War Two from his family on Tuesday.

His wife Johanna Kammerlander, heir to the Walderode family, has been trying to have noble family’s property, including the Hruby Rohozec Castle, returned for 25 years.

The value of the claimed property in the Turnov, Jablonec and Liberec regions is estimated at three billion crowns.

The family property was confiscated from Karl des Four Walderode, who had German citizenship, on the basis of the Benes decrees in 1946. In 1947, Czech authorities returned him Czechoslovak citizenship.

Under the decrees, issued by then Czechoslovak president President Edvard Benes, about three million ethnic Germans were transferred from former Czechoslovakia, mainly the border regions (Sudetenland), after World War Two and their property was confiscated.

Walderode did not succeed in regaining the property because he emigrated after the communists seized power in Czechoslovakia in 1948 and he again lost Czechoslovak citizenship.

After the fall of the Communist regime, the property was returned to its former owners, but only that confiscated after the 1948 coup.

In 1992, three years after the fall of the communist regime, Walderode was again returned Czechoslovak citizenship and he applied for the return of the former family property.

Judge Michal Polak issued a verdict on Tuesday which acknowledged the family’s claim to the confiscated property.

If the ruling is confirmed and not appealed, the case will continue with the return of the individual pieces of land.

“There are over 1400 of them,” Polak told CTK.

Kammerlander has also claimed the return of the archives at Hruby Rohozec, Polak said.

“The court is yet to examine the question, to find out whether the items were confiscated by the decrees or in a different way,” he added.

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