Jewish Trust Corporation (JTC)

In the first years of the organization's activity the JTC main office for Germany was in Hamburg. In addition there were four regional offices: Hamburg, Hannover and two offices in Mühlheim (one for the Rhine and one for the Ruhr  area). Matters for the British Sector in Berlin were handled by the JRSO office there. After 1955 all the work was concentrated in one office in Mühlheim. In June 1962 this last office in Germany  was closed and all the administration, bookkeeping and other important files were transferred to the London  office, as well as files of unsolved restitution and equity cases. The files of settled cases were stored in Hamburg. From then on work was carried out in London, while a small "Abwicklungsstelle" in Hamburg dealt with negotiations still in progress with the Federal German Government.

The primary task of the JTC was to locate within an 18-month time limit property that had remained unclaimed after June 30, 1950, the deadline established by the Restitution Law for the British Zone for claims by the original owners or their heirs.  Declarations by Germans who had purchased Jewish property were not forthcoming;   therefore 70% of JTC's claims for real estate resulted from its own search activities. Not a single item of former communal and organizational property remained undiscovered, and in only a very few cases did former individual property come belatedly to the notice of the JTC. The JTC initiated proceedings before restitution courts for the recovery in natura of property claimed by it, or arrived at cash settlements with those who had acquired it under the Nazi regime. Certain claims (those resulting from mass confiscatory measures of the Third Reich) were settled in bulk with the Federal German Republic and other claims (damage to former Jewish communal organizational property) with the Länder, or with Hamburg and Berlin. By the end of 1967, the JTC had recovered a total of 169,500,000 DM (approx. $42,375,000). The Corporation by that time almost reached the end of its operations, but it was expected that about four million DM (approx. U.S. $1,100,000) might still accrue to its funds.

The major recipients of JTC funds were the Jewish Agency for Israel, for Youth Aliyah work; the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for Malben work; the Central British Fund for assistance to Nazi victims in the United.Kingdom; the Leo Baeck Charitable Trust, for assistance to Nazi victims in various countries; equity claimants; Jewish communities in Germany and their organizations; organizations for the building of synagogues and maintenance of Yeshivot in Israel; and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In the 1970s the main work of the JTC was completed. The Hamburg office was closed in about 1975 and the files were transferred to the CAHJP. In about 1980 the JTC office in London closed, and the administration and personal files were deposited in Jerusalem.

The JTC collection in the CAHJP consist of the administration files from London and Hamburg, which are open to the public, and several categories of personal files regarding restitution from the London office as well as the various German offices. These are still closed in order to protect privacy rights.


  • Encyclopedia Judaica online edition.
  • C.I. Kapralik, Reclaiming the Nazi Loot. The History of the Work of the Jewish Trust Corporation for Germany, London 1962.
  • Nana Sagi, German Reparations. A History of the Negotiations, Jerusalem 1980.
  • Roland W. Zweig, German Reparations and the Jewish World. A History of the Claims Conference, 2nd edition, London 2001.

This archival project has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.