A German court has rejected a demand for the return of thousands of acres of land to the family of an anti-Nazi aristocrat who was tortured by the Gestapo and stripped of all his property as punishment for taking part in the abortive Second World War plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.Amazing ... amazing that the land wasn't given back within a decade of the war's end ... shamful that this ruling came out in 2010.
Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth was one of a handful of German aristocrats who took part in the failed attempt to blow up the Nazi leader on 20 July 1944. The Gestapo arrested him the next day and forced him to sign a legal contract formally handing over 17,300 acres of family estates and castles to Heinrich Himmler, the Gestapo chief.
But a legal bid by the Prince's grandson, Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth V, to have the properties returned failed yesterday. A court in the city of Potsdam rejected pleas for their restitution; arguing that the contract which led to their being relinquished to the Gestapo was legal because German law still recognised Nazi Germany as a constitutional state in which the rule of law prevailed.
Germany has one more chance to do it right.
The case will now be heard by Germany's federal supreme court in Leipzig.2010 Germany is better than this. Make this right.