WGA Akten

 © By Beek100 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) o Former location of the Restitution Offices Berlin, Building of the Metal Workers Union, AlteJakobstraße 148-149 and Lindenstraße (left) in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The bulding was designed by Erich Mendelsohn and built from 1929 to 1930.

Berlin Restitution Offices


The Berlin Offices of Restitution (Wiedergutmachungsamt, or WGA) – later known as the Berlin restitution offices – were established in 1949 by the Restitution Decree (Rückerstattungsanordnung, or REAO).
Unlike similar institutions in other German federal states, the Berlin restitution offices dealt specifically with claims for material restitution. A separate office for compensation payments, the Berlin Compensation Office (Entschädigungsamt Berlin), was established in 1951.

The Berlin restitution offices began their work on 26 July 1949, when the Restitution Decree went into effect. The offices were responsible for reviewing and settling claims for the restitution of identifiable property to victims of Nazi persecution.

The restitution offices were initially part of the city’s municipal government, the Magistrat, but later moved to the Berlin Administration for Justice (Senator für Justiz).

The Berlin offices were first located at Turmstrasse 91, in the Moabit district, but moved in 1951 to Martin-Luther-Strase 61-66, in the Schöneberg district, and later to Potsdamer Strasse 192, also in Schöneberg, and finally to Alte Jakobstrasse 148-155, in the Kreuzberg district.

In 1957 the Federal Restitution Law (Bundesrückerstattungsgesetz) took over the provisions of the Restitution Decree as well as the existing restitution offices.

The Federal Restitution Law greatly extended the jurisdiction of the Berlin restitution offices: section 5 of the law stated that the offices would now review all claims on property which was assumed to have entered the territory of the Federal Republic, even if the last known location of the property was unclear.