History: Hohenzollern want to forego compensation

A solution is emerging in the years-long dispute over millions in compensation between the public sector and the descendants of the last German emperor.

History: Hohenzollern want to forego compensation

A solution is emerging in the years-long dispute over millions in compensation between the public sector and the descendants of the last German emperor. The Hohenzollerns want to forego a court decision.

Georg Friedrich Prince of Prussia will withdraw the lawsuits in two proceedings before the Potsdam Administrative Court, the dpa learned on Wednesday from the Potsdam-based general administration of the house. Prussia will announce its decision during a family history event scheduled for Thursday in Berlin, it said.

The federal government and the states of Brandenburg and Berlin have been negotiating with the Hohenzollerns since 2014 about the return of numerous art objects and compensation. The talks rested after Brandenburg resumed a process that had been running since 2015 on real estate that had been repossessed, such as Rheinsberg Castle, Bornstedt Crown Estate and a number of villas in Potsdam. The country had rejected compensation on the basis of the unification agreement. The Hohenzollerns are complaining about this. It's about 1.2 million euros.

According to the law, there is no compensation for those who "considerably promoted" the Nazi system. The country rejected the Hohenzollerns' claims for compensation on the grounds that the former Crown Prince of Prussia had given the National Socialist system considerable encouragement. The second lawsuit concerns, among other things, inventory from the Rheinsberg Castle and Cecilienhof Castle in Potsdam. In this case, too, the country had refused compensation for the same reasons.

Brandenburg Finance Minister Katrin Lange welcomed the waiver in a statement. "With this decision, the Gordian knot in the Hohenzollern complex has been cut, so to speak," said the SPD politician. "This ends a highly complicated debate about compensation claims of various kinds, which outsiders can hardly understand in detail, which would not have existed at all without the historical luck of German unity and which was also less and less a blessing for the reputation of the House of Hohenzollern and his place in history."

According to its spokesman, the Potsdam administrative court had not yet withdrawn the complaints from the Hohenzollerns on Wednesday. There, a hearing date of June 13 has been set for the lawsuit for compensation for the expropriated real estate.

The left-wing faction in the Brandenburg state parliament welcomed the announcement by the Hohenzollerns. "The only fly in the ointment is that the issue of the Hohenzollern's subsidies for the Nazi regime has not been clarified in court," said their cultural policy spokeswoman Isabell Vandre, according to the statement.

Shortly before the 2019 state elections, the Brandenburg left launched a popular initiative calling for the negotiations with the Hohenzollerns to be broken off and for judicial clarification. More than 23,000 citizens had signed. "The waiver by Georg Friedrich Prince of Prussia shows that the pressure of the past few years in public and in Parliament has had an effect," said parliamentary group leader Sebastian Walter on Wednesday.

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