Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – The Supreme Court has turned down the recourse filed by five descendants of Czechoslovak shoe mogul Jan Antonin Bata who claimed a compensation of 56 million crowns for his nationalised property, Czech Television (CT) said yesterday.
The complaint related to a villa and property in Zlin, south Moravia, confiscated by the state from Bata over his alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupiers in 1947.
Jan Antonin Bata (1895-1965) was a step-brother of Tomas Bata, founder of a large shoe-making plant in Zlin. After Tomas died in an air accident in 1932, Jan Antonin replaced him as the firm’s head. The firm and the town of Zlin flourished under his management. In 1941 he left for Brazil where he later died.
After the war, a Czechoslovak court labelled Jan Antonin Bata a traitor and collaborator in absentia and confiscated his property.
Bata was rehabilitated by courts in 2007. Archive documents showed that Bata’s firms had financially supported the wartime Czechoslovak exile government in London and sent tens of thousands of pounds or dollars to anti-Nazi actions.
The five relatives of Bata who live in South America filed the complaint six years ago. The dispute lasted long as the court had to check whether the complainants were really Jan Antonin Bata’s relatives and thus authorised to file the suit.
The complaint was at first rejected by the Prague 2 district court in early 2014.
According to the district court, “the complaint is an attempt at circumventing law,” and the appeals court apparently shared this stance.
The courts point out that the restitution law on the return of property confiscated unlawfully by the communist regime does not apply to the cases before 1948 when Communists took over in Czechoslovakia.