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On the basis of the Decree to Implement the Four Year Plan of 18 October 1936 (RGBl I, 887) in conjunction with the Decree for the Introduction of the Four Year Plan in the Eastern Territories of 30 October 1939 (RGBl I, 2125) the following is decreed for the area of the Greater German Reich, including annexed Eastern territories:
1. Property of nationals of the former Polish State within the area of the Greater German Reich, including annexed Eastern territories, is subject to confiscation, administration by commissioner and sequestration in accordance with the following regulations.
2. This does not apply to the property of persons who have gained German citizenship in accordance with Article 6 of the edict of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning organization and administration of Eastern territories, dated 8 October 1939 (RGBl I, 2042). The competent authority (Article 12) may permit additional exceptions.
3. Nationals of the former Free City of Danzig who are of Polish nationality are considered as nationals of the former Polish State.
1. Confiscation will be applied in case of property belonging to:
b. Persons who have fled or who have absented themselves for longer than temporary period.
2. Confiscation may be applied:
a. If the property is needed for the public good, especially for purposes of national defense or the strengthening of German folkdom.
b. If the owners or other persons entitled to it immigrated into the, then, area of the German Reich after 1 October 1918.
3. Confiscation may be limited to individual articles of property.
4. As a rule the following articles are to be exempted from confiscation:
a. Movable articles destined exclusively for personal use.
b. Cash, bank and savings bank deposits as well as stocks and bonds up to a total value of one thousand marks.
Properties are stationary and movable objects (with all accessories), credits, shares, judgments, and interests of all sorts.
1. With the sequestration the previous owners lose the rights of disposal of the sequestered properties. The competence of the general governor in accordance with the ordinance for public administration of farm and forestry industries and territories in the annexed Eastern areas of 12 Feb 1940 (RGBl I, 355) remains unaffected.
2. Whoever has sequestered property in his possession or custody, must administer it until further notice. Changes or disposal of the property or its profits are only to be permitted within the limits of regular business. All measures which go beyond this, especially the disposal of plots of land, must have the permission of the competent office (Article 12).
1. The commissarial administration can be ordered for property which is subject to sequestration, insofar as ordinary administration demands it.
2. Orders by the commissarial administration serve as confiscation at the same time.
1. The commissarial administrator is appointed by the competent office (Article 12). He will receive a written appointment. He can be recalled at any time.
2. In the direction of businesses, he must use the same caution which a regular businessman or administrator would and is responsible for all the damages which result through breach of duty. He must report to the competent office (Article 12) at all times all of the information requested by it and insofar as nothing else is determined he still must report it concerning his administrative activity monthy without further request.
3. The commissarial administrator can be held to the fulfillment of his obligations by the competent office-without prejudice to his criminal responsibility-by means of an automatic fine of up to 10,000 RM.
1. The commissarial administrator is empowered to take all judicial and extrajudicial actions, which the administration of the property entails within the limits of ordinary business.
2. The administrator needs a special permission of the competent office (Article 12) prior to:
a. Selling or mortgaging lots.
b. Changing the subject or the legal form of an enterprise.
c. Doing legal business which results in the sale or winding-up of an enterprise or of a management or the sale of an administrated stock of goods or other property which is not divided.
d. Renting professional, agriculture and lumber enterprises and farm and timber lots over 10 hectars.
e. Undertaking other legal business whose settlement is made dependent upon previously established authority of the competent office (Article 12) by means of public announcement in the German Reichsanzeiger and the Prussian Staatsanzeiger.
3. Legal affairs which are undertaken without the authority required by Article 2 are not valid.
1. The administrator will receive a remuneration for his activity which will be determined by the competent office.
2. The costs of the commissarial administration including the remuneration will be borne by the concern, property, or portion of property, administered.
1. Sequestered property can be confiscated in favor of the Reich by the competent office if the public weal, particularly the defense of the Reich or the consolidation of the German nationality [Volkstums], requires it.
2. Before confiscation the sequestered property is to be determined according to more detailed directives of the competent office (Article 12).
The Reich is the security for the debts of the confiscated property up to the amount of the sale value of the confiscated property. Judgments against confiscated properties remain valid.
4. The disposal of confiscated property is granted the office which was competent for the confiscation (Article 12). In the case of disposal of agricultural property an accord will be reached between the Reich Commissar for the strengthening of German nationality and the Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture.
5. The regulation of the type and extent of compensation which will be granted from property losses attendant upon the carrying out of this decree remains withheld. For measures of the competent agency (Article 12), on the basis of Articles 16 and 17, no compensation will be granted.
1. A commissarial (provisional) administration can also be established over the property of legal persons, societies, clubs and other associations of individuals in which subjects of the former Polish State in the year 1939 still either had a preponderant capital interest or whose administration was decisively influenced by members of the former Polish State.
2. During the existence of the commissarial administration the authority of chief and of the other persons authorized for representation or administration will be dormant; the same thing for the powers of all other organs.
3. Only the shares and holdings of subjects of the former Polish State are subject to confiscation in this case.
1. The sequestration or the regulation of the commissarial administration are upon request of the competent authority (Article 2) to be entered into the register of deeds or any other appropriate public register. The entry of the name of the commissarial administrator can also be demanded.
2. Insofar as the register of deeds or other appropriate public register becomes incorrect as a result of measures on the basis of this decree, it is upon request of the competent authority to be corrected. Article 1, section 3 to 5 of the second decree for the execution and completion of the law on the granting of compensation in case of confiscation or transferral of property of 18 March 1938 (RGBl I, 317) is to be applied appropriately.
1. For measures and decisions on the basis of this decree the commissioner for the four year plan-Chief-trusteeship East-is the competent authority; for agriculture including agricultural side-enterprises, the Reich Commissar for the strengthening of German nationality.
2. The competent authorities according to subparagraph (1) can delegate the exercise of their powers entirely or partially to other agencies. Complaints against their decisions will be directed to the competent authority according to Sect (1). The complaint will have no delaying effect. It is not permissible if more than one year has gone by since the issuance of the disputed decision.
If anybody opposes the sequestration or the ruling of the commissarial administration with the assertion that he is a member of the German people, then the proceedings are to be suspended. The competent authority (article 12) will entrust the decision concerning membership in the German people to the local governor [Regierungspraesident]. The person concerned also has the right of requesting that his nationality be determined. Complaint against the decision of the Regierungspraesident to the Reich Minister of the Interior is permissible. The decision on membership in the German people is binding, upon the proceedings of the competent authority (Article 12) on the basis of this decree.
The regulations to be issued according to Article 2, 5 and 10 will be effected by a written order which is to be made known to person concerned. This personally making known may be substituted by a sign, poster, or public proclamation.
1. Disposal of property and property rights of subjects of the former Polish State, who do not come under the regulations governing exceptions of Article 1, Section 2, need the approval of the competent authority (Article 12) to be valid. This is not true for the disposition of claims upon interest and other continuous earnings.
2. The competent authority decides whether approval according to Section 1 is necessary. The decision is binding upon courts and administrative agencies. The competent authority (Article 12) must upon demand issue a certificate that approval is not necessary.
1. All sorts of compulsory sales of objects are by this decree subject to sequestration may only be begun with the assent of the competent authority (Article 12). If one of the competent authorities according to Article 12 has assented, it has no influence upon further proceedings, if it has wrongly asserted its competence.
2. If it is to be feared that the debtor will escape the compulsory sale, or an immediate seizure is called for, for some other reason, then upon order of the court authorizing the compulsory sale the compulsory sale can be begun before issuance of the necessary approval, according to Section 1. It should, in this case, be limited to the measures permissible in the execution of an attachment and be continued from this point only when the approval has been issued. Upon demand of the competent authority (Article 12) the court authorizing a compulsory sale must order the lifting of the temporary attachment measures.
1. If in the incorporated Eastern territories bankruptcy proceedings are opened on the property of a bankrupt, then the provisions of Article 16 are valid accordingly, for the liquidation of the property belonging to the estate of the bankrupt.
2. If the opening or discontinuance of bankruptcy proceedings in the incorporated Eastern territories depends upon whether the value of the bankrupt estate corresponds to the cost of the proceedings, then objects which according to this decree are subject to confiscation, shall only be regarded as belonging to the bankrupt estate, if the competent authority (Article 12) has agreed to their liquidation in bankruptcy proceedings.
It can be publicly announced that property coming into consideration for sequestration is to be registered. The announcement of registration for agricultural property takes place in agreement with the Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture.
The competent authority (Article 12) can demand information of everybody for the carrying out of its tasks. Administrative agencies and courts must give it official help, especially they must question witnesses and experts upon its demand.
1. Whoever undertakes to deprive the agencies indicated in Article 12 or those empowered to dispose of the property by said agencies or otherwise in any way undertakes to thwart, to evade, or to prejudice the effect of the sequestration in order to create a profit for himself or another, will be punished with imprisonment and fine or one of these penalties.
2. In aggravated cases the punishment will be confinement to a penitentiary. If the culprit acts out of insubordination against the political new order or the case is otherwise especially aggravated the sentence of death is to be given.
1. Whoever intentionally or carelessly fails to fulfill or fulfills incorrectly, or incompletely, an obligation to report or give information incumbent upon him according to an executionary regulation issued to implement this law or a regulation issued according to Articles 18 and 19, will be punished with imprisonment and fine.
2. The criminal prosecution will be instituted only upon request of the competent authority (Article 12).
1. The following remain unprejudiced:
a. The regulation for the securing of the necessary establishments for the fitting out of the Reich's war harbor Gdynia of 21 December 1939 (RGBl I, 2475);
b. The decree on the public exploitation of agricultural and sylvicultural enterprises and real estate in the incorporated Eastern territories of 12 February 1940 (RGBl I, 355) with the provision that upon the undertaking subject to public exploitation the provisions of Articles 1, 2, 3, 4 Section 1, Articles 9, 11, 12 Section 1, Articles 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 23 of this decree will be applied;
c. The ordinance on the handling of enemy property of 15 Jan 1940 (RGBl I, 191) with the provision that property of the subjects of the former Polish State, who have their residence or permanent domicile in the territory of an enemy state, will be treated according to this decree, insofar as it is located in the Greater German Reich including the incorporated Eastern territories.
d. The decree on confiscation in the occupied former Polish territories (except Eastern Upper Silesia) of 5 Oct 1939, p. 25.
e. The decree on the employment of Jewish property of 3 Dec 1938 (RGBl I, 1709) with following:
1. The sequestration according to Article 2 and the regulation of a commissarial administration according to Articles 5 and 10 of this decree do not take place in the case of property of Jews, which the Jewish owners had already been ordered to sell on the basis of Articles 1 to 6 of the decree on the disposal of Jewish property at the time this law came into effect. The proceeds of this sale can be confiscated.
2. The approval according to Article 15 of this decree is not necessary insofar as a license is prescribed by Article 8 of decree on employment of Jewish property;
f. The decree of the Reich protector in Bohemia and Moravia on Jewish property of 21 June 1939 [Verordnungsblatt des Reichsprotektors in Boehmen und Maehren p. 45] and the decree of the Reich protector in Bohemia and Moravia on the removal of the Jews from the economy of the protectorate of 26 Jan 1940 [Verordnungsblatt des Reichsprotektors in Boehmen and Maehren P. 45] with the provision that the proceedings for the removal of Jews will also be carried out in regard to the property of subjects of the former Polish State according to these provisions, in agreement with the chief-trusteeship East; for the sequestration and confiscation the agencies named in Article 12 remain competent.
2. Furthermore all regulations conflicting with this one, issued since 28 August 1939 in the incorporated Eastern territories including the territory of the former Free City of Danzig, especially such regulations which grant the right to sequester, to install commissarial administrators or trustees, or to confiscate, become invalid.
3. The measures and legal transactions of the commissariat administrator undertaken with the approval of the competent agencies are not subject to the necessity of being approved according to the decree to assure the orderly development of the economy in the incorporated Eastern territories of 31 Jan 1940 (RGBl I, 255). In the case of property disposal an understanding will be established with the competent Reichs governor or provincial governor or the highest Reichs authority, which according to Article 3 Section 2 of the decree of 31 Jan 1940 have withheld their consent. If in cases of especial importance such an understanding cannot be established, then the commissioner for the four year plan will make the decision.
4. Measures of the competent authorities (Article 2) which have been taken before this decree became effective, are valid if they are in accordance with the provisions of this decree or with the law as it stood previously.
5. Insofar as sequestrations, confiscations, or the installation of commissarial administrators have been carried out by anyone else but the competent agencies (Article 12), their confirmation is to be applied for in writing. If the confirmation of them is not then forthcoming, the previously directed measures become null and void. The same is true if a decision is not reached on the confirmation before 31 October 1940. The competent agencies are authorized to prolong this period to a reasonable degree in individual cases.
6. The provisions of Section 5 are not valid for trustees, who at the time this law came into effect were installed according to Articles 2 and 6 of the decree on the employment of Jewish property of 3 Dec 1938 (RGBl I, 1709) for the temporary carrying on, transferral, or winding up of Jewish business undertakings or for the administration or transferral of other property of Jews. The legal position of these trustees remains unchanged.
1. The commissioner for the four year plan will issue the necessary legal regulations for the carrying out of this law-for agriculture including subsidiary enterprises pertaining to agriculture-with the agreement of Reich commissar for the strengthening of German nationality and of the Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture.
2. The Commissioner for the four year plan in agreement with the Reich Minister of Finance and the Reich Minister for Economic Affairs can decree by means of legal regulations a simplified settlement, diverging from the provisions of the law as it stands, of the legal affairs of those persons whose property is subject to confiscation according to this decree.
3. The necessary administrative regulations for the carrying out of this decree will be issued by the commissioner for the four year plan-Chief Trusteeship East-in agreement with the competent authorities.
1. This decree becomes effective one week after its proclamation.
2. The commissioner for the four year plan will fix the time of its becoming invalid.Berlin, 17 September 1940
Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV
Office of the United States Chief Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality
Washington, DC : United States Government Printing Office, 1946