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Nuremberg 50 Years Later: The Restitution of Jewish Property and Norwegian Justice

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image of Nordic Journal of International Law

Norway, under the Nazi rule of Vidkun Quisling, was one of the first of the Occupied Countries to enact a Nuremberg-type Race Law, delegitimizing and disenfranchising Norwegian Jewry. From 24 till 26 November 1942, the arrest and deportation of Norwegian Jewry to Nazi death camps took place, followed by the systematic plundering of their property by Norwegian authorities. The latter was based on an Act of 26 October 1942, ordering all property of any kind belonging to a Jew to be confiscated and taken over by the Norwegian State treasury. After the War, a Reparations Board was established, but failed to properly indemnify most of the Norwegian Jewry claimants for the plundering of their property. This paper sets out what the legal basis is for ``restitution'' for these Nuremberg crimes committed by Norwegian authorities under the Nazi rule of Vidkun Quisling. The author identifies seven principles on which state responsibility for war crimes and the ensuing restitution are based. The author concludes that the obligation of restitution is not only the redress of a historical wrong, but one clearly anchored in international human rights law – and the inherent dignity and worth of every human life.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada


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