Deadline set for compensation schemes for victims of WWII property confiscation

  • Final claims for compensation under the Baltic States and Enemy Ownership Schemes must be submitted by 31 March 2023
  • since 1999, the schemes have considered more than 1,300 claims, paying more than £23 million to successful claimants
  • after decades in operation, the schemes now only receive a very small number of claims each year and have come to their natural conclusion

Today (Friday 23rd September), the UK government has announced a deadline for filing claims under 2 schemes that compensate people who had property confiscated during the Second World War.

Under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1939, the UK government seized assets in British territories owned by residents of enemy countries during World War II. This included residents of former Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan and the countries occupied by them.

Under the Enemy Property Payment Scheme, the Enemy Property Claims Assessment Panel (EPCAP) has been compensating people who suffered Nazi persecution and had their property confiscated. The Panel also oversees the Baltic States Scheme, which compensates asset owners who were resident in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania.

For both schemes, final claims for compensation must be filed with the EPCAP Secretariat no later than March 31, 2023.

Compensation under the schemes was intended for people directly affected by the Trading with the Enemy Act 1939 or their close heirs. The Enemy Property Payment Scheme now only receives a small number of claims each year and there have been no claims under the Baltic States Scheme since 2013. Other comparable compensation schemes across Europe ceased operations many years ago.

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Today’s announcement follows a consultation launched last January to determine the appropriate date for the schemes to close.

To be eligible under the Enemy Property Payments Scheme, the UK owner of the asset at the time of confiscation or the claimant (who must prove their relationship to the owner) must have suffered from Nazi persecution.

The Baltic States Scheme applies to any resident of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who had deposited assets in the UK before the War. Under this scheme, Nazi persecution is not essential to the return of the original confiscated asset.

People who believe they or a direct relative may have held or deposited assets in the UK that were later seized by the UK government are encouraged to contact the EPCAP Secretariat at [email protected]

More information

  • For more information and to make a claim, see the EPCAP advertisement or through the Make a claim under enemy property compensation schemes page
  • Following the previous global notification in 2016, a further 24 claims have been filed under the Enemy Property Payment Scheme, an average of 4 per year.
  • the government acknowledges the problems some potential claimants face in obtaining evidence to support claims due to COVID-19, including delays caused at the National Archives across Europe. To allow claimants to substantiate their claims, the Department will accept partially completed claims as of March 31, 2023 when an asset is identified as being available for release, when the claimant is identified and evidence of their identity and legal entitlement to the asset is provided. , and if the claimants are represented by a third party, a power of attorney must have been granted to the representative
  • all claims received before March 31, 2023 will be evaluated by the EPCAP Panel to its conclusion. Terms of reference for the schemes are available.
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