Baťa descendants seek compensation for seized property

THE DESCENDANTS of Ján Antonín Baťa, one of the wealthiest men in former Czechoslovakia, are seeking compensation from the Slovak state for property that was confiscated from them after the Second World War.

THE DESCENDANTS of Ján Antonín Baťa, one of the wealthiest men in former Czechoslovakia, are seeking compensation from the Slovak state for property that was confiscated from them after the Second World War.

“The Finance Ministry received a request for setting and providing compensation for the nationalised property of the Baťa concern in Slovakia,” the ministry’s press department told the SITA newswire, adding that the ministry is currently analysing the request.

The Baťa family owned four industrial centres in Slovakia, in the towns of Partizánske, Svit, Nové Zámky and Bošany. The company also owned Pravenec, the Poprad airport, and Bojnice Castle.

After the war, the state confiscated their property and nationalised it, based on the court ruling from 1947 which also convicted Ján Antonín Baťa in absentia to 15 years in prison for his alleged cooperation with the Nazis. The court ruling was based on one of the decrees of then-president Edvard Beneš, SITA wrote.

The Municipal Court in Prague cancelled the verdict 60 years later, and in May 2013 it was also cancelled by the Slovak courts.

The Baťa family now wants compensation for its property, amounting to about €1 billion, according to SITA.

If their request is successful, the Baťa family want to invest the money in Slovakia, mostly in education and in top technologies. They are also considering establishing a university, which would carry the name of Jan Antonín Baťa.

If their request proves unsuccessful, they are prepared to sue Slovakia.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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