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“only approximately 17 percent of the Templers were Nazi sympathizers”

June 5, 2013

The displaced Templers remained in Cyprus until they were admitted to Australia and became citizens (see Suzanne D. Rutland, “‘Buying out of the Matter’: Australia’s Role in Restitution for Templer Property in Israel,” Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture, 24:1, 2005, pp 135-154).

Here is where the fate of the Palestinian refugees and the German Templer refugees diverge. The governments of Australia and West Germany worked together for ten years before the State of Israel agreed in 1952 to pay restitution to the German refugees for their four rural villages, as well as the Templers’ urban property holdings inAcre, Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem. A leading agricultural economist from Stanford University valuated the Templer holdings, including all real estate, their homes and farm buildings, orchards, forest and vineyards, down to the chicken coups and pigsties.

In 1962 — ten years later — the government of Israel paid 54 million Deutsche Marksto West Germany for the “German Secular Property in Israel” belonging to the displaced and dispossessed Templers, part of which was transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia (see Australian Treaty Series 1966 No 3).

Read More | “When Israel compensated Germans for land in Palestine” | Rosemarie M. Esber |  The Electronic Intifada