BERLIN (JTA) – Germany was ordered to pay the heirs of a JewishÂ department store chain nearly $68 million inÂ restitution and interest for properties confiscated by the Nazis.
The ruling by a Berlin administrative court for the heirs of the Schocken family was announced formally on Thursday, according to German news reports. The court had made its ruling last month.
BeforeÂ World War II, brothers Simon and Salman Shocken had opened numerous department stores, mostly in whatÂ later would be East Germany. Reportedly the most well known was the store inÂ the city of Chemnitz, in a building designed by the architect ErichÂ Mendelsohn.
After German unification, the state paid the family aboutÂ 30 million Deutschmark, or about $27 million, in restitutionÂ for the Chemnitz building alone. It now houses the German state museum forÂ archaeology.
In 1938, the department stores were “aryanized,” or confiscated. TheirÂ value is estimated at about $41 million; the rest isÂ interest.
The decision may be appealed to a federal administrative court.
Salman Schocken also founded Schocken Books in prewar Berlin. HeÂ later moved the company to prestate Palestine and the United States.