The Dutch postwar restoration of rights regime regarding movable property

Lars van Vliet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During the Second World War Germany and German nationals looted the Netherlands and its nationals of many valuable assets, that were taken to Germany. Often the looting took the form of forced sales. In some cases, the sales price was too low, in other cases the German buyer paid market value or more, but often the buyer paid with guilders looted from the Dutch State. After the liberation of the Netherlands the 'restoration of rights regime' enabled victims of forced sales to seek annulment of the sales. This article concentrates on those movable goods that were sold to German buyers and that, after the war, returned from Germany to the Netherlands with the help of the Allied Forces, the so-called recuperation goods. If the seller did not seek annulment before the deadline of July 1951, for example because the price paid was considerable so that he preferred to keep the purchase price, or if his request was rejected, the Dutch State should not be forced to return these goods to their German buyer. Therefore, these goods were first subjected to Royal Decree E133 which expropriated all German owned property in the Netherlands. Upon return to the Netherlands the recuperation goods became State property, but this measure could be undone by the seller successfully seeking annulment of the sales contract under Royal Decree E100. However, if no annulment took place, the State remained owner of these goods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-673
Number of pages23
JournalTijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis-Revue d Histoire du Droit-The Legal History Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • restoration of rights
  • Second World War
  • Netherlands
  • Raad voor het Rechtsherstel
  • spoliation
  • looting

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