WJRO Bulgaria Operations
Bulgarian laws provide for the return of immovable communal property – confiscated between September 1944-1948, and then through November 1989 – which was held by the State, and for payment of fair compensation when the actual property cannot be returned. Restituted communal property, or related compensation, is transferred to Shalom, the organization representing the Bulgarian Jewish community. While nearly all confiscated communal property that was Jewish-owned has been returned, one property in Varna remains in dispute.
The private property claims process provided for the following:
- property confiscated during the Nazi and Communist eras was included;
- government bonds would be offered when in rem restitution or the return of substitute property was not possible; and
- claimants did not have to be Bulgarian citizens, but eligible non-citizen claimants were required to sell any restituted property.
The claims deadline expired in November 2007 and most private property claims have been settled.
Bulgaria has no restitution legislation for confiscated heirless property, but is a party to the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947, which calls for the return of unclaimed and heirless Jewish property.