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European Royals

Brandenburg’s government wants to end Hohenzollern’s claim for compensation


In July, Royal Central reported that the heirs of Kaiser Wilhelm II had launched their bid to reclaim art and palaces from the German state. Last week, the left-wing coalition, that governs in the German state of Brandenburg refused to pay any financial compensation to the Hohenzollerns because of their financial collaboration with the Nazi party. “They have been expropriated; they have no right to ask for something,” said the SDP to the German press.

With slogans, the Socialist Party in Brandenburg has now also started a popular initiative before the state election, against their own government, regarding this issue. This was reported by the newspaper BZ last week. Finance Minister in Brandenburg, Christian Görke, says that they demand “to investigate all legal options to prevent the payment of compensation to the Hohenzollerns”.

The lead candidate to the upcoming election for the Socialist Party, Sebastian Walter, urges the government to “end the negotiations immediately”. The Socialist Party is low in the polling in Brandenburg with only around 14-16 per cent support. This Anti- Hohenzollern campaign has, however, increased its support. Political opponents now claim that the socialists are populists regarding this case and use the Hohenzollern issue to gain more support in the election.

“Nobody wants to give the Hohenzollerns something,” said Culture Minister in Brandenburg Martina Münch, from the Socialist Party. She also said: “However, many castles are disputed. It is better if we can come to a private agreement because we can lose in court. “

His Royal Highness, Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia has been negotiating with Görke and the state of Brandenburg for years for 1.2 million euros in compensation for expropriated real estate. In addition, with the castle foundation, he is requesting the federal government, Berlin and Brandenburg return works of art. His recent demand for a right of residence in the castle Cecilienhof caused outrage in left-wing in Germany.

Most of the family’s possessions were in the Russian occupied zone in East Germany and were expropriated. Their claim is based on German laws which mandate the return of property seized under communist rule. However, opponents say that the family is not eligible under the law because it excludes those who were involved in the Nazi regime – such as Kaiser Wilhelm’s eldest son, Crown Prince Wilhelm.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.