published: 13.09.2013, 10:12 | updated: 13.09.2013 10:23:36
Bratislava - Heirs of Czech businessman Jan Antonin Bata have asked Slovakia to pay them compensation for the property that the state confiscated from the family on the basis of Benes decrees, whose value is put at one billion euros, the Slovak Finance Ministry has said.
The value of the property was estimated by the family´s defence lawyer Tomas Pecina.
The current Czech and Slovak republics formed Czechoslovakia in 1918-92.
The decrees signed by then Czechoslovak president Edvard Benes after World War Two provided for the confiscation of the property of collaborators, traitors, ethnic Germans and Hungarians, except for those who themselves suffered under the Nazis. They also formed a basis for the transfer of the two ethnic groups from Czechoslovakia after the war.
Jan Antonin Bata´s grandson John Nash would not comment on the compensation claimed now and he said details will be released next week.
Pecina said the Bata family prefers a financial settlement whose level is to be set by the respective authorities.
Bata´s concern in Slovakia comprised several enterprises, such as the industrial centres Partizanske, Svit, Nove Zamly and Bosany. He also owned the Bojnice chateau through a stock company.
Slovakia abolished in April the prison sentence of many years and forfeiture of property imposed on Jan Antonin Bata in absentia by a Czechoslovak court in 1947.
Based on the verdict of the district court in Bratislava, Bata´s relatives decided to ask Slovak authorities for compensation for the nationalised property.
The Czech judiciary exonerated Bata in 2007 already and his heirs are also suing the Czech state for compensation for the property that it confiscated from him after the war over alleged cooperation with the Nazis.
Five Bata's descendants claim compensation for a damage of 56 million crowns.
These are not the first compensation claims by the Bata family.
Last December, Brazilian Dolores Liljana Bata Arambasic definitively failed to receive compensation for nationalised property when the Czech Constitutional Court dismissed her complaint.
Jan Antonin Bata was a half-brother of the founder of the shoemaking empire, Tomas Bata. When Tomas died in a plane crash in 1932, Jan Antonin took up his position in the firm. In 1941 he left for Brazil where he later died. The Czechoslovak National Court adjudged him a traitor and collaborator and his firms were nationalised.
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