Our final presentation of the term was led by Cornel Marian, visiting researcher at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Below is a brief description of the presentation for those of you who could not attend.
Cornel Marian is a senior legal counsel, based in Stockholm (Sweden). His focus is on general corporate matters and disputes, including compliance and taxation matters. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Frankfurt after obtaining his law degrees in the United States (J.D.) and Sweden (juristexamen)
“The Amsterdam Compensation case of the taxation of returning Holocaust survivors”
The Amsterdam compensation case follows the story of the 217 unveiled letters from returning Holocaust survivors who pleaded with the city to waive the delinquent payments arising from the time they were held in concentration camps. In 1947, the City of Amsterdam sought the input from the enforcement of authorities and a separate committee that both recommended the enforcement of the delinquent fees as it would create a faulty precedent. The final decision enforced these fees and was never appealed. The formal decision (Municipality Decision No. 518) addressed the issue in terms of the occupation of territory during the rule of a foreign power, which did not negate the obligation for the lessee to pay its dues on the property. The presentation discussed the findings, including the discrepancy of the nature of the fees and how they were commonly reported as ‘taxes’ in the media. Finally, the presentation addressed the silver lining of this entire story. In 2017, the city conducted a detailed report that prompted the compensation of ca. 10 MEUR to the surviving victims.