Who owned German apartments in the 1940s?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by angular, Jun 18, 2013.

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  1. I appreciate this is a minority interest, but where else to come for info like this?

    In a couple of pieces of German drama (Draussen vor der Tür, Unsere Mütter etc.) people come home after the war and someone else is living in their family's apartment. Does anyone know how this worked legally? Who was likely to own the apartment? Did most people rent from the State? How did it work with the apartments of Jewish families?

    It's been niggling at me since I read Borchert for A Level, round about the time the USSR invaded Afghanistan...
  2. I vaguely remember reading something about this a while ago (no idea where, can't remember) all apartments were owned by the 'stadt' and either rented to the tenant or sold on a leasehold basis.

    I don't think the 'Jewish question' (see what I did there?) really became an issue as generally speaking those who weren't killed - fucked off to the promised land, other countries or other towns/cities within Germany.
  3. Returning jews wasn't a problem, for some reason most of them sought pastures new. Where I live none returned, the only family who survived sold up the large family business and got out early, arriving in london with just £25 after the nazis had helped themselves. The displaced Germans from the east, what is now Poland, the Sudetenland and bits of white russia were the real problem. They were shoe-horned into every available space. In "Der Stunde null" an old "Mietvertrag" or title deed would not stop you having to share your accomodation with other families, you would be lucky if the building was still standing.

    The Nazi civil and public servants had the best of it. First dibs on housing and everything else and 85% (i.e. all the survivors) of those "beamter" who worked for the Nazi gubment in "Gross Deutschland" were re-employed by the new Bundesrepublik with continuation of pension. Quite shocking when you think that the losses of territories and town halls was not reflected at all in lost jobs!
  4. Roger Moorhouse says much the same in his book "Berlin at War" Just that he took a whole chapter to say it...
  5. Compare and contrast to recent middle-eastern excursions, particularly Iraq. The great thing about history apparently, to modern politicians, is that it ends in 1918.
  6. Throughout WW2 my wife's maternal grandmother lived in a nice little bijou 1900s flat in Paderborn, (it's still there, just accross the road from where the ToC H used to be), with her four children (aged between 11 and 2 in 1939). The flat was fine but small by todays standards, 55 square meters for a family of six. Her husband, a Standartenfuhrer der SS, was never there, he was a polygamist and a cheeky **** who set up two other families, one in Dortmund and another in Bunde, so with duty, other wives, eastern front etc. he was never there! In 1944 a Silesian-German woman with three kids was billeted with them, followed by a woman from Berlin with two sons. The state tried to move a third family in but they ended up living on the landing and stairs. There was no running water, power, gas, or mains drainage until the Brits gripped the place early in 1946.

    It took years to re house all these people. The building boom this sparked, funded (illegally) using Marshall plan money for low interest reconstruction loans (and you can still get them), fuelled the later economic wonder.
  7. It's not just post WW2. It's still an ongoing issue since reunification. Take a peek at this from a Reuters press release in 2010

    .And finally he pointed to the village of Kleinmachnow, just outside West Berlin. Many fled the town for West Berlin in the years just before the Wall fell. Their houses were taken over by the East German state, which sold them to East Germans. But after unification, those who reclaimed their property were given priority over those who had acquired it from the East German state: “Take a look at Kleinmachnow,” Platzeck said. “Nearly 80 percent of the people living in houses in Kleinmachnow were uprooted and had to leave their houses. No one can be happy when they’re told they have four weeks to leave their house because someone whose name was in the property deed in 1946 shows up at the door. It may all be totally legal in united Germany. But that kind of thing doesn’t promote harmony. Go talk to someone who had to move out of their house 20 years ago and now lives in a small high-rise apartment somewhere what they think of unification. If you think of people in their situation, you might be able to better understand why there are a lot of people who are not very happy about the way things have turned out.”

    As usual, a heyday for lawyers........
  8. sirbhp

    sirbhp LE Book Reviewer

    the freemasons hall in Berlin was confiscated by the Nazis ( 80k odd masons killed in death camps ). After the war they asked for their hall back but for some reason it wasn't available so they got give The Waffen SS Officers club building instead . It's a lovely place if you are ever over there look for the three globes .