Re Wetzel

Date19 Julio 1956
CourtObsolete Court (Netherlands)
Holland, Judicial Division of the Council for the Restoration of Legal Rights (De-enemization Chamber).
In re Wetzel.

State Territory — Annexation — Refusal to Recognize Effects of Unlawful Annexation — Free City of Danzig — Annexation by Germany — Questions of Acquisition and Loss of Nationality.

Nationality — Acquisition and Loss of — Imposition of Nationality in Pursuance of Unlawful Annexation — Non-recognition of Nationality Thus Imposed — Free City of Danzig — Subsequent Extinction of — Resulting Factual Changes in Nationality.

The Facts.—This was an appeal against a decision of the Nederlands Beheers-Instituut (Institute for the Administration of Enemy Property) declaring the appellant's property to be enemy property under the Royal Emergency Decree on Enemy Property of October 20, 1944 (No. E 133). The appellant was formerly a citizen of Danzig, and had become a German national under the “Gesetz über die Wiedereinigung der Freien Stadt mit dem Deutschen Reich” (Law concerning the Reunification of the Free City of Danzig with the German Reich) of September 1, 1939.

Held: that the appeal must succeed. The appellant had never become a German enemy within the meaning of the Decree on Enemy Property.

The Court said: “The Netherlands Institute for the Administration of Enemy Property, at the hearing of July 19, 1956, no longer maintained its claim that former inhabitants of Danzig are to be regarded as enemy subjects in the sense of the Decree on Enemy Property as having acquired German nationality on or about September 1, 1939, by the German annexation of the Free City. The Court now adopts that view since it has officially come to its knowledge that requests from former inhabitants of Danzig to obtain restitution of their property under Article 12 of the Destination Act of July 20, 1951 (Staatsblad No. 311) are now being granted by the Ministers of Justice and Finance, and since the Court wishes to avoid contradictory decisions which would not be in the interest of the persons concerned.

“The Court must, however enter into a fresh ground, lately adduced by the Netherlands Institute for the Administration of Enemy Property, viz., that the appellant is a German national under Article 116, paragraph 1, of the Constitution of Bonn,[1] having...

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