Germany Awards Schocken Family $68m for Assets Seized by Nazis

The German-Jewish family, now owners of Haaretz, lost department store chain during 'Aryanization' of businesses in 1930s.

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A Schocken department store built in 1930 by Erich Mendelsohn in modernist style.
A Schocken department store built in 1930 by Erich Mendelsohn in modernist style. Credit: Roland Halbe

A Berlin court has ordered Germany to pay the heirs of Jewish owners of a department store chain an additional 50 million euros ($68 million) in compensation for property seized by the Nazis.

The Berlin administrative court said Thursday that the Schocken family, now owners of Haaretz, lost its chain of stores, primarily in Saxony, during the Nazis' so-called "Aryanization" of businesses in the 1930s.

The family was paid about 15 million euros for one building in the 1990s, but said the others were undervalued. In the ruling, the court ordered the heirs, who live in Israel and the U.S., receive an additional 50 million euros.

The best known building involved was built in the eastern city of Chemnitz by architect Erich Mendelsohn in 1930. It now houses the State Museum of Archaeology.

Shlomo Zalman Schocken ran the department store chain until forced out by the Nazis.Credit: Alferd Bernhiem

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