Adult Years - Inheritance
I look upon 78 West Hill as a gift from my father.
My father purchased a large house in Frankfurt/Sachsenhausen, Morgensternstrasse 36 where he and my mother lived on the top floor. My brother Oswald was born in September1922 and later, when I came into the world in December 1923, we moved to a larger flat downstairs.
In 1936 under the Nazis, Jews were forced to sell their properties, always and without exception at considerable loss. My father sold his house on 16.2.1937 and we moved as tenants to the ground floor in Scheffelstrasse 11. (n.b. the house in Morgernsternstrasse is now a listed building)
After the war, Germany had to pay reparation not only for loss of property, but also household goods, loss of income and education etc.
Every claim had to be substantiated and assessed by the authorities in Wiesbaden. This proved to be a lengthy and costly affair and gave plenty of work to lawyers who specialised in the preparation of claims.
The claim for my father’s house was in the hands of the father of an old school friend from Philanthropin who lived in Israel, where I was resident at the time. His charges turned out to be so unreasonably high, that we spoke to a close friend of my mother from the days when she worked at his bank in Frankfurt. He emigrated to Palestine in 1932. With his help we came to an arrangement.
Restitution of the house was completed in 1956. Over the years, the flats had been converted to smaller units and as owner, I was responsible for maintenance. There were continuous problems with the tenants and the administrator, Herr Printz, a trusted friend of Georgel Schmidt, advised me to sell. He successfully claimed for bomb damage which turned out to be a bonus.
Fortunately, no tax had to be paid in England for monies received from German restitution.
The house in 78 West Hill and furniture was bought with my inheritance which I regard as a gift from my father.