Law on the Seizure of Assets of Enemies of the People and the State – July 14, 1933

In conjunction with the Denaturalization Law and the deprivation of German citizenship, a law was passed that essentially served as the legal basis for the seizure of assets of emigrants. This law allowed the government to confiscate the assets of Communists and other designated enemies of the regime. Some use of this legislation was made to confiscate Jewish assets throughout the 1930s, particularly of Jews who had emigrated and those who had aroused the ire of the regime through their activities abroad.

Reich Flight Tax – Law Concerning Revision of the Specifications of the Reich Flight Tax - May 18, 1934

Tax enacted by the German government on 8 December 1931 during the Great Depression to combat capital flight. After the Nazi Party’s rise to power, the Reichsfluchtsteuer became a punitive anti-Semitic tax ("Law Concerning Revision of the Specifications of the Reich Flight Tax" issued on 18 May 1934). It affected all Jewish emigrants with assets exceeding RM 200,000, from 1934 over RM 50,000, and amounted to 25% of the taxable assets.)

Decree on the Registration of Jewish Property – April 26, 1938

Jewish property inventories had to be drawn up by Jews themselves as a result of the Ordinance on the Registration of Jewish Property of April 26, 1938, and handed in at the local tax offices. In this register, all property, securities, etc. had to be listed.

Law on the Confiscation of Products of Degenerate Art – May 31, 1938

On May 31, 1938 the “Law on Confiscation of Products of Degenerate Art” was decreed: “The products of degenerate art, which have been seized in museums and publicly accessible collections before the passing of this law and have been identified by authorities appointed by the Führer and Reich Chancellor can be seized without compensation on behalf of the Reich provided that they were guaranteed to be owned by nationals or domestic legal entities.” With this the conditions to sell the confiscated works were created. The works, which they were hoping to sell abroad, were stored in the Schönhausen Castle. (…), the “unusable remains” were burned in the yard of Berlin’s main fire station.

The law (…) was not repealed by the Allied Control Council. Its legal validity was confirmed in September 1948 following a recommendation by the Museum Council of Northwest Germany, according to which the “degenerate” works concerned were not to be reclaimed.

Atonement Tax on the Jews of German Nationality – November 21, 1938 (Jewish Property Levy (Judenvermögensabgabe; JUVA)

The JUVA followed on November 12, soon after the Pogrom Night (November 9, 1938), the decree on the registration of the assets of Jews of April 26, 1938. The Nazi state demanded this so-called "atonement payment" for the murder of the employee of the German embassy in Paris, Ernst vom Rath (November 9, 1938). The proceeds from the JUVA were to amount to one billion RM. All German Jews who owned more than 5000 RM had to pay first 20%, from October 1939 even 25% of their assets to the treasury. The amount demanded was ultimately even exceeded, at RM 1.12 billion.

Sonderauftrag Linz

Alternative names: Special Commission Linz, Special Order Linz, Linz Museum, Führermuseum, Projet du musée de Linz, Sammlung Linz

The Sonderauftrag Linz was an organization set up by Hitler and directly subordinate to him, with the task of gathering works of art for his envisioned Führermuseum by means of confiscation and purchase. Following Austria’s March 1938 annexation with Nazi Germany, on 18 June 1938 Hitler issued his “Führervorbehalt” (Führer Reservation) that provided the legal basis to secure art and assets, something that already had taken place. (…). The thousands of works of art intended for the Museum were stored in various depots: in Munich, Kremsmünster, and finally in the mining galleries of Altaussee. (…). In May 1945, the Sonderauftrag’s depot in Altaussee was overrun by the U.S. Army, and the artworks were transferred to the Munich Central Collecting Point in Munich (MCCP).

The Munich Central Collecting Point (MCCP)

The “Munich Central Collecting Point” was the name given the collection center for art that the American Forces’ Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Service (MFA&A Service) set up in Munich after the end of World War II (May 1945). The task was to bring artworks that had been looted, confiscated, or sold on the art market in the German Reich or in the areas under its occupation between 1933 and 1945 from the repositories to the MCCP for inventorying and subsequent restitution to their countries of origin and to private individuals in Germany.