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translation by Gerda Johannsen.   zum deutschen Originalbericht
Appendix 11
Edict of the President of the Republic, dated June 21, 1945
concerning the confiscation and early re-allotment of agricultural property of Germans, Magyars, as well as of traitors and enemies of the Czech and Slovak people
(Decree No. 12)


Following the demand of the Czech and Slovak people without land for an effective implementation of the land reform, and led by the desire once and for all to take Czech and Slovak soil out of the hands of the foreign - German and Magyar - landowners as well as out of the hands of the traitors to the Republic and to give it into the hands of the Czech and Slovak farmers and persons without land, I decree upon proposition of the government as follows:

§ 1

1. With immediate effect and without compensation and for the purpose of the land reform such rural property shall be confiscated as is owned by:
a) all persons of German or Magyar nationality, without regard to their citizenship,
b) traitors and enemies of the Republic without regard to their nationality and citizenship, especially those who demonstrated their hostility during the crisis and during the war in the years 1938 to 1945,
c) corporations, partnerships and other associations, the management of which knowingly and intentionally supported the Germans in carrying on the war or which served fascist or Nazi aims.

2. The agricultural property of persons of German or Magyar nationality who participated in the combat for the protection of the integrity and for the liberation of the Czechoslovak Republic shall not be confiscated under the provisions of Subsection 1.

3. The District National Committee is competent to decide upon application of the competent farmers committee whether an exception according to Subsection 2 shall be made. Doubtful cases shall be submitted by the District National Committee to the Provincial National Committee which shall forward them with an opinion to the Ministry of Agriculture for final decision. The latter shall decide by agreement with the Ministry of the Interior.

§ 2

1. Those persons shall be considered as of German and Magyar nationality who on the occasion of any census since 1929 acknowledged their German or Magyar nationality or who became members of national groups, organizations or political parties in which persons of German or Magyar nationality were united.

2. Exemptions from the provisions of Subsection 1 will be laid down in a special Edict.

§ 3

1. Those persons shall be considered as traitors and enemies of the Czechoslovak Republic:
a) whose activities were jointly or separately directed against the sovereignty, the independence, the integrity, the democratic-republican system, the security and the defensive power of the Czechoslovak Republic, who instigated such activities or seduced other persons thereto, and, in any manner, intentionally and actively supported the German and Magyar occupiers;
b) such juristic persons whose activities intentionally and actively served the Germans in carrying on the war or served fascist or Nazi purposes.

2. The authorities competent to decide whether or not a natural or juristic person is subject to the provisions of Subsection 1 a), b), are: the Provincial National Committee in the area of which the rural estate concerned is located, upon application of the competent District National Committee. Doubtful cases shall be submitted by the Provincial National Committee to the Ministry of Agriculture for final decision. The latter shall decide by agreement with the Ministry of the Interior.

§ 4

Rural property within the meaning of § 1 Subsection 1 shall include the land used for agricultural and forestry purposes, the buildings and equipment relating thereto, the facilities serving the agricultural and forestry management thereof as well as all movable accessories (livestock, tools etc.), and all rights connected with the possession of the property confiscated and the parts thereof.

§ 5

1. If the rural property confiscated by virtue of § 1 has been leased, all lease contracts shall become null and void. In the event, however, that the lessee is a person having a claim for the allotment of land (§ 7 Subsection 1), then he may be permitted to utilize the land in his possession until the end of the economic year. In the event that the rural property leased should not be allotted to such person for any reason whatsoever, then the lessee shall pay rent to the National Land Fund (§ 6 subsection 1). In the event that natural or juristic persons not subject to § 3 are affected by the confiscation, the National Land Fund, upon application by the Local National Committee, shall grant them a compensation for the current expenses and investments.

2. Patronage rights and duties connected with the agricultural property confiscated by virtue of § 1 cease on the date of confiscation. In cases with special merit, the National Land Fund will grant compensation.

3. Questions relating to debts and claims connected with the property confiscated by virtue of § 1 shall be clarified by a government ordinance. Wages, pensions, taxes and charges as well as other current expenses shall be reimbursed temporarily by the national custodian.

§ 6

1. Rural property confiscated by virtue of § 1 shall be administered by the National Land Fund (which is established hereby) jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture until such property is turned over to the Receiver. The government is authorized to issue the charter for this Fund.

2. Continuous forest areas of more than 50 hectares confiscated by virtue of § 1 will be taken over by the government. In the event that the forest areas cannot be consolidated with government owned forest areas into one continuous area, and in the event that they do not exceed an area of 100 hectares, the National Land Fund shall transfer such areas to the competent National Committee.

§ 7

1. Out of the rural property administered by the National Land Fund, land shall be allotted to persons of Slav nationality as follows:
a) to farm workers normally compensated for their work by agricultural products and to other farm workers, up to 8 hectares of fields or up to 12 hectares of agricultural land according to its productiveness;
b) to smallholders, such amount of land as shall bring their total holdings up to not more than 8 hectares of fields or not more than 12 hectares of agricultural land according to its productiveness;
c) to farmers with large families, such amount of land as shall bring their total holdings up to not more than 10 hectares of fields or not more than 13 hectares of agricultural land according to its productiveness;
d) to localities and districts for public purposes;
e) to building, agricultural and other co-operatives of which the members are applicants privileged according to Subsections a), b), c) and f);
f) to workers, employees in public and private services, merchants with small businesses for the purpose only of building private dwellings and laying out gardens up to 0.5 hectares.

2. In districts in which the population of German nationality is in the majority the land shall remain under the administration of the National Land Fund for the purposes of interior colonization if enough applicants of Czech and Slovak nationality who are qualified according to subsection 1 a) to f) are not available.

3. Forest land up to 50 hectares, or up to 100 hectares (§ 6 Subsection 2), may be allotted to localities and forestry co-operatives. Such land is subject to supervision by the government.

4. Confiscated buildings, facilities serving the agricultural and forestry management, institutions of the agricultural industry, parks, memorial institutions and objects, archives and other objects of similar nature as well as all rural estates confiscated, unless they are allotted to juristic persons created under the public law, may be allotted as property to:
a) co-operatives founded by privileged applicants for the purposes of joint utilization,
b) in exceptional cases to individuals (allotment receivers) who are listed under Subsection 1 a) to c).

5. The decision whether property confiscated shall be allotted to co-operatives or to individual persons shall be rendered in accordance with § 9.

6. Those persons have a preferential right to receive an allotment who have distinguished themselves in the national combat for liberation, especially soldiers and partisans, former political prisoners and deportees, as well as their relatives and legal heirs, and farmers injured by reason of the war. The right to preferential treatment must be established according to the above provisions.

§ 8

The property allotted according to § 7 may be disposed of, leased or encumbered only upon approval in advance by the National Land Fund.

§ 9

1. The applicants privileged according to § 7 Subsections 1 a), b), c), d) and f) shall elect a local commission of farmers consisting of not more than 10 members. This commission shall sit at the place which is the seat of the Local National Committee in the area of which the property confiscated is located.

2. In a subsequent meeting representatives of the local farmers commission shall elect a district farmers commission which shall consist of not more than 10 members.

3. The local farmers commission shall set up an allotment plan with a valuation (§ 10) for the property to be allotted and shall submit such plan to the district farmers commission for approval.

4. The district farmers commission shall examine the allotment plans and valuation and shall use them in setting up an allotment plan and a valuation estimate for the entire district. If there is no divergence between the allotment plans and valuations submitted by the individual local farmers commission or if such divergence is removed, the district allotment plan and valuations shall become final upon approval in accordance with Subsection 5.

5. The allotment plan of the district farmers commission and the valuation estimate shall be submitted to the Provincial National Committee without delay. The latter shall forward the same with its opinion to the Ministry of Agriculture which may modify the allotment plan and the valuation estimates, if important public or national interests are imperilled or the provisions of § 7 Subsection 1 a) to f) have not been complied with. In the event that agricultural industrial plants are concerned (§ 7 Subsection 4), the Ministry of Agriculture, upon consent of the Ministry of Food, shall decide if the decision relates to an allotment according to § 7 Subsection 4 b).

6. If the district farmers commission is unable to remove the divergences between the allotment plan and the valuations submitted by the local farmers commission and if a settlement cannot be reached, or if it provokes a conflict between district farmers commissions of adjacent districts, then the district farmers commission shall submit the matter to the Provincial National Committee which shall forward the same with its opinion to the Ministry of Agriculture for final decision.

7. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Provincial National Committee shall delegate assistants to the district farmers commission who shall assist in technical matters relating to the allotment.

§ 10

1. The compensation shall be assessed according to the productivity, the location, the distance, the present condition of the land (fertilization, cultivation and planting) as well as according to the financial position of the allotment receiver and his family conditions, as follows:
a) at least in the amount equivalent to the value of an annual average crop gathered from the land, the allotment of which has been applied for;
b) at the maximum in the amount equivalent t the value of 2 average annual crops gathered from the land, the allotment of which has been applied for;
c) the compensation to be assessed for the buildings allotted shall be the equivalent of 1-2 annual rents to be paid for the buildings allotted. In any case the rent can be expressed in natural products.

2. The compensation for livestock and equipment allotted shall be assessed in accordance with regulations which will be set up by the Provincial National Committees and approved by the Ministry of Agriculture.

§ 11

1. The compensation assessed shall be paid as follows:
(1) in one sum either in cash or in agricultural products not later than 12 months after the property allotted has been taken into possession, or
(2) in cash or in agricultural products as follows:
      a) 10% of the compensation to be paid for the land and the equipment shall be paid at the time the property allotted is taken over. Upon application of the local farmers commission, which must be submitted together with the allotment plan (§ 9), the National Land Fund may grant a postponement of the payment of the first installment for a period not exceeding three years;
      b) the remaining payment in respect of the allotment shall fall due in accordance with the payment plan set up by the National Land Fund, in any case, however, not later than 15 years from the date the property allotted has been taken over.

2. In cases deserving particular consideration, or which are socially justified, the National Land Fund, upon application of the farmers commission, may relieve the allotment receiver from his obligation to pay the amount due and may allot the particular agricultural property without payment especially to persons who have a right to preferential treatment in the allotment (§ 7 Subsection 6).

§ 12

The compensation shall be paid by the allotment receivers to the National Land Fund in accordance with a plan set up by the latter. It shall be used for the payments of debts and obligations in respect of the property confiscated, provided that such debts and obligations have been acknowledged. It shall further be used for the compensation of war damage and such damage which was caused to property of persons who during the time of occupation were persecuted for national, political or racial reasons and for increasing the agricultural production and for purposes of interior colonization. Remaining funds of the National Land Fund shall accrue to the National Treasury.

§ 13

1. The assessment according to § 10 includes all expense charges which are connected with the confiscation (§ 1), the allotment (§ 7) and with the registration of the property transfer in the land registers.

2. The registration of the allotments in the land registers shall be made by the National Land Fund at its own expense.

3. The transfer of property in accordance with the provisions of this edict shall not be subject to charges or fees.

§ 14

This edict shall become effective in the lands of Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia on the day of its publication; the Ministers of Agriculture, Finance, Justice, the Interior and for Food are responsible for carrying out this Edict.


[sgd.:]

Dr. Eduard Beneš Fierlinger
Nosek, Dr. Srobár, Dr. Stránský, Duris, Majer



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