The Portrait of Esther The Black Notebook

The confiscation of Jewish property

Episode IV - page 20

The Blum family, like other Jews at that time, were treated as less than human by the Nazis from the onset of the war. In addition to their art collection, all of the family’s possessions were confiscated by the Occupying Forces.

Laws were put in place that robbed the Jews of all property and assets. Impoverished, the Jews could no longer flee: the net was closing in on them. In France, an operation authorized by Hitler organized the seizure of homes abandoned by Jews: this was called Möbel-Aktion. When families were forced to leave their home, everything was seized by the Occupier. The apartments and homes seized were redistributed; furniture, jewellery, and clothing were stored in huge warehouses, and then sent as compensation to the victims of bombings in Germany.

In France, 46,000 houses and apartments were seized by the Nazis during the Occupation.