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Consequences of “Aryanisation”


Restitution for property lost before or during involuntary emigration is a process that has received little attention until now. While the descendants of Jewish colleagues can now finally speak about their harassment, discrimination and expulsion, a very delicate matter remains: the appropriation of Jewish property through what were called “capitalisation campaigns” in public auctions among neighbours. This topic was first addressed a few years ago in an exhibition entitled, “Re: ‘Aktion 3’. Germans exploit Jewish neighbours.” ‚


Aryanisations’ were carried out for everyday items such as household wares or bed linens, and also in the form of forced sales or “protective custody” of office furniture and professional equipment. The documents of Dr. Richard Priwin, a Jewish radiologist and practitioner of internal medicine from Berlin who was expelled from Germany, testify not just to material losses and high attorney fees, but also to the sometimes humiliating experiences associated with attempting to obtain a fair settlement for incurred losses.


Dr. Richard Priwin immigrated to Venezuela in 1938 and had to leave behind his X-ray practice in Berlin. These letters, provided with friendly permission by his grandson, Dr. Richard Thompson, document the long road to material restitution.

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