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Czech court rejects German Order’s claim for Bouzov Castle

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Olomouc, North Moravia, March 30 (CTK) – A regional court upheld a lower court decision to reject the criminal complaint against the National Heritage Institute (NPU) filed by the German Order, successor to the Teutonic Order for the return of the Bouzov Castle yesterday.

The NPU refused to return the castle in May 2014, arguing that the order had no legal right to the property in the Czech Republic.

The court ruled that the complaint was unsubstantiated.

Last August, the same decision was made by the Olomouc district court, but the German Order appealed it. Its lawyer Lenka Charvatova said it might still file a recourse with the Supreme Court.

Judge Ivana Pikalova said the district court had proceeded quite rightly and the German Order had not proven that it was entitled to the property under the law on property settlement between the church and the state.

The Czech province of the Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem or German Order has been striving for the return of Bouzov Castle since 1998. It says the property was confiscated unlawfully during the Nazi occupation.

The Teutonic Knights lost the castle as early as October 1938, when the Nazi regime outlawed the Order as hostile to Germany and its property was confiscated or transferred to new owners. The Bouzov castle went to SS head Heinrich Himmler.

During the war, an SS task force was seated in Bouzov. After the war, Bouzov was confiscated and the state has owned it since 1945.

Bouzov is one of the most popular heritage sights in the Olomouc Region. It is seen by some 100,000 visitors annually.

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